Sunday, June 26, 2016

Performance Series #2

This morning was the 2nd run in the Performance Series me and hubs had signed up for. For a change, the run was closer to my home. It was just a few train stations away at Chinese Garden. Years ago, I used to live in the area!

Chinese Garden is not a particularly interesting garden, just water and grass and trees. The only interesting feature is the pagoda.

We tried to get our photos with the pagoda in the background but the sun was in our eyes. How does hubs keep his eyes open?

I wore my Puma tee. It's my favourite running tee because it has a designed "hole" at the back - makes me feel the breeze. I wore my new Puma shorts which hubs bravely bought for me after consulting with me about the size over the phone. Luckily it fits but I can't grow any fatter. This pair of shorts is quite different as it has 2 layers. The inner layer is tight fitting while the outer layer is like a regular pair of shorts. I wore my favourite Adidas tempo 7 boost shoes. They are the most comfortable pair of shoes I own. Which turned out to be a mistake because it got really muddy.

 Before. Sparkling.

After. Like dragged through hell. This despite tiptoeing through the field. I was hoping hubs would carry me over the mud but he didn't. But he washed my shoes for me.

This was the route. It wasn't pretty boring except in the beginning at the Start line when a GIANT wasp tried to attack me. Either that or I walked into it. What I didn't like about the run was the hot sun beating down mercilessly on us. There weren't any tall buildings to shield us. NOTHING.

Hubs finished earlier than me and was able to take pics of me at the finish line. I love to clown around towards the end.

No bananas were provided so here's a obligatory shot of me drinking Lucozade which is not a nice drink. There's a after taste. My face really got burnt by the sun.

2 down. 3 more runs to go.

The medal.

My timing was not bad. 40 to 45min is more or less what I'm capable of. I was a bit worried about this run because I did not run or walk much in June. The last 2 weeks I was on allergy meds and it made me a little loopy so I basically sat in front of the computer all day. Anyway, I feel energized again and I hope to keep fit in July.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

$5 PDF Bag Patterns Sale

Are you enjoying June? I am. I've been sleeping late and waking up late because it's school holidays. This week is birthday week for moi and to celebrate that, the following bag patterns are sold at $5 each until Monday 27th June 2016. Only at my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Whole Wheat Popovers

I'm on a roll. Today I baked again. This time, something different. Last year I borrowed Baking With Julia (Child) from the library and I wanted to bake popovers but I couldn't find all the parts of my old blender. After my "successful" Dutch egg cakes on Sunday, plus a second attempt yesterday(so yummy and addictive), I wanted to try something new.

If you have watched Baking With Julia, you will know it is Marion Cunningham who baked the popover. She made it look so easy I had to try!

If you are interested in the recipe, here's a version very close to Marion Cunningham's recipe but she mixes by hand. This other version uses a blender.

I don't know if there's a difference between mixing by hand or using a blender but since I have found my old blender, I decided to do it the blender way.

I decided to use whole wheat flour again and found a recipe which uses it. Here. I followed it 100%.

I used a muffin tray and this was what the popovers looked like fresh from the oven. I think whole wheat flour will always result in flatter looking bakes. Although I oiled the muffin tray really well, there was a lot of sticking. It was a bitch to wash.

Inside it's airy.

It's basically a bun of crust. I ate it with olive oil butter. (19% olive oil)

On its own, it's really plain. It tastes like bread. My girl didn't like it because she hates bread. Hubs says it's ok. He took 4 to work. Son ate one and said he didn't mind eating it again for breakfast. So I think it's a success.

I had to use 2 ramekins because my muffin tray couldn't fit everything. I think I prefer using the muffin tray because these ramekins are hard to remove from the oven.

The next time I bake these, I will grease up the muffin tray better or use muffin paper holders.

Monday, June 6, 2016

I made the switch

Since 2011, I have been using my beloved Dell desktop. This is where I wrote all my blog posts, my tutorials, bag patterns and digital drawings. This is where I sit for hours watching endless Kdramas, sitcoms and crime drama. The desktop uses Windows 7 and for a long time, I resisted upgrading to Windows 10 because I didn't want to change anything. Plus, my kids have a desktop and it came with Windows 8 and the interface is horrible, very un-window-like.

Last week hubs bought me a new Dell desktop. One of the reasons was my old Dell is getting old and cranky and it's only a matter of time before it died. I wouldn't have minded hanging on to it but hubs likes to buy PCs during the PC show which was last week. And so I have a new computer. And hubs gets my old one which has all his itunes and stuff so it all works out.

My new Dell looks exactly like my old Dell except it comes with Windows 10. Oh no, the dreaded Windows 10... Actually, it wasn't so bad. Windows 10 is a lot like Windows 7 but with extra stuff. So I am quite happy with it. I have been exploring it and I've discovered I like the following features:

1. Windows 10 has this "Task View" which is so perfect for me. I'm the kind of person who likes to see at a glance all the stuff I have opened. In Windows 7, I have the Alt+tab but that's more like a toggle. I love "Task View". I use it to navigate all the time.

My Task View - I love being able to see all my tasks on the screen!

2. Windows 10 took print screen to the next level! When I do a print screen, the image gets saved to One Drive. There is no need to put it in a image editor right away which was what I used to do. Eventually when I want to use the image, I can share/edit/print/etc or convert to a pdf! How cool is that?

3. Candy Crush Soda Saga came pre-installed. Please! Someone get me off this game! I'm at level 29 and I can't get past it. It's driving me insane.

There are one or two things I don't like about Windows 10 but I think I can get used to it. (New Folder is one of them)

I think there is a feature called virtual desktop where you can have more than one desktop but I don't think it suits me. I don't even use Snap which I think is already available in Windows 7. In fact I think these are features which suit hubs because he likes to multi-task at the computer.

One of my worries, unrelated to Windows 10 when moving to a new computer was that I would lose all my bookmarks on my Firefox browser. Imagine 5 years' worth of bookmarks. Then I discovered that all I have to do to import my bookmarks was to create an account on Firefox, log in to the old pc and decide what I want to import. Next on my new computer, I log in to Firefox and all my bookmarks magically appear. What a relief!

I have been slowly transferring my data and re-installing my Adobe programs to my new desktop. I'm almost done. I'm down to my Wacom tablet. Can you imagine? I have to re-do all the itty bitty settings all over again. Grr.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dutch Egg Cakes

I rarely bake because I'm not good at it. Although I can follow recipe and am of average intelligence, most of my baked goods come out really bad. I don't know why.

This morning I ventured into baking again because I saw this recipe for Dutch Egg Cakes and it looked so easy. How could I go wrong? Plus, I really wanted to eat Dutch Egg Cakes.

The recipe only calls for flour, baking powder, eggs and a pinch of salt. I was really happy no butter was needed because it makes everything so icky. The only issue for me was I planned to use whole wheat flour instead of regular flour. I wondered how that would affect the result?

I bought King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour from Cold Storage. I find that in Singapore, whole wheat flour is not easily available. I guess most people prefer the regular white flour.

The recipe is easy. I thought the most difficult part is beating the eggs with the sugar to get a foam. I got hubs to do the beating for me. I considered using a machine to do it but I couldn't remember where I put the mixer. Anyway, hubs put a lot of effort into the beating but it didn't look foamy.

After mixing the flour with the egg mixture, I let it sit for a while covered with a towel. I don't know why I have to do this. I followed the recipe and instructions found on this blog post here. After I took the towel away, I noticed the mixture was a bit thick, not at all swirly.

This is what my egg cakes look like after I took them out of the oven. As always, I baked a bit too long. Also, I think the cakes are a bit flat because hubs couldn't get the eggs foamy.

They were pretty good!

 Hubs ate THREE.

Son ate one. He said it was OKAY. That translates to good because he doesn't like to try new food.

I ate two and my girl ate one. My girl didn't like it because she said the texture of the cake was similar to bread and she hates bread.

Will I bake these Dutch egg cakes again? Oh yes, definitely. Next time I will do the following:
1. Use a mixer to beat the eggs and sugar.
2. Use large eggs. I thought the texture was a bit dry.

The recipe used all purpose flour and I followed the exact amount. I do wonder if this is correct. Is it a 1:1 substitution? The recipe also used vanilla sugar. I don't know what that is or where to buy it. I found another recipe on this blog post here which does not use vanilla sugar but uses lemon zest. Maybe I will try that next time.

Whole wheat flour does taste different from regular white flour but I don't mind it. After a year of eating alternative food, my taste buds have changed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Embroidery Patterns : Hens and Cats

One of my goals is to digitize the embroideries I used to do in the past. I have been busy going through my archives from 2007 to 2014. The going is slow but I'm making progress.

In the past, whenever I drew something for an embroidery, I usually did it freehand on the fabric. Occasionally I sketched on paper. But I was never organised. I drew on small bits of paper, sometimes paper napkins. So you can imagine how messy everything is. To digitize these past embroideries, I'm doing it a super slow way. First, I use my wacom tablet to draw freehand on Illustrator (a graphic design software). I use a pencil tool to mimic the way I draw in real life. After that, I use Illustrator to tidy up the lines and that's it. The tidying takes up the most amount of time. I discovered I can get pretty anal about curves and lines.

I completed digitizing several patterns a few months ago but then I started asking myself what I should do with the patterns. Well, I decided to publish these for sale and I spent most of May writing up a little information to go with the pattern. Yep, most of May. Because you know I get distracted so easily. I'm glad all that is done and I've also finished sewing up samples for two patterns and these are the ones I've put up for sale.

They are available in my Etsy and Craftsy shop. I'm pricing them for very little. If you are interested, please take a look.
Maybe you remember Harriet the Hen? I love drawing hens because it's so easy and you can't go wrong. To buy Harriet the Hen embroidery pattern, please go to my Craftsy or Etsy shop.

Do you remember my fat cats inspired by Meow, the fattest cat in the world? The dancing fat cat doesn't give a hoot it is fat. The other fat cat loves to eat so much it eats anything, including yarn.
This pattern is available in my Craftsy and Etsy shop.

I must confess producing these embroidery patterns gave me a lot of fun and delight. Kinda brings back some sweet memories. I used to draw a lot during my teenage years and up till my late 20's I was still drawing and colouring with colour pencils. People used to ask me why I was so into something so childish. They could never understand. Well, well, well. Nowadays adults enjoying colouring with colour pencils is an acceptable hobby. Ha!

I'm a little sad that I gifted all my drawings and colourings to friends. Once I tried to get my bff to give some back(how crude of me!) because she was one of the lucky recipients but she refused to part with any! So I have nothing I created from that period. Not even a photograph because back then we use film. I used a very expensive set of Caran d'Ache colour pencils which a boyfriend gifted me. Then one day, I stopped drawing completely and even gave away the Caran d'Ache colour pencils. It wasn't until I started embroidering again in 2000 for my kids' blankets and handkerchiefs that the desire to draw/doodle came back. Somehow my drawings and embroidery became one.

Wow, that was some nostalgia. As I grow older and my memory starts to fade, I find it important to write them down because one day I may totally forget and I have this blog to retrieve my memories.

Next on my list are some cute animal motifs. The digital drawings are completed. Yes, I have already stopped fussing over the little details and will stitch up the samples real soon. I have also sketched out new embroideries ideas but you know me. I tend to go from one shiny object to another. So it's best I be disciplined and complete the archived series first. See ya.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

My Bag Pattern Shop

My Applique Patterns

My Embroidery Patterns