Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Checklist for Chinese New Year 2019

1. Visit Chinatown
To get into the spirit of Chinese New Year, a visit to Chinatown is a must. Many of the little roads are no longer open to traffic so you can walk, I mean squeeze your way from stall to stall. I visited Chinatown on 19th Jan and it was already packed. It's probably much worse now.

2. Look at lanterns
Of course the lanterns in the malls pale in comparison to the street lanterns hung over the roads at Chinatown.

3. Look at pigs
We read about the dirty pigs on display at Chinatown that people were criticizing so of course we had to pay them a visit. I thought the pigs weren't dirty enough. Have you seen real life pigs? They're filthy. I didn't get to see the pigs lighted up but here's a video that some one made including a walk around Chinatown. Click and see if you're up for some noisy Chinese tong tong chiang! music and not allergic to the colour red.

For cleaner looking pigs, we went to Mandarin Orchard. Not quite the same.

4. Look at Chinese New Year decorations for sale at shops or on display that you would not see the rest of the year. (there's a big obsession with pineapples, forgot why)

5. Prepare new notes and red packets.
Check out the McDonald's packets. So "classy".

6. Shop for new clothes.
Bought this one.

Did not buy this one.

Passed on this one as well.

This one was a maybe except the only colour available was yellow. I avoid wearing yellow.

7. Buy mandarin oranges.
I bought 5 but used them for a photo shoot and left them in the sun. I should buy 4 new ones for Chinese New Year for the mandarin orange exchange thingy. I mean, that's the least I could do considering how the relatives I visit will feed me.

8. Get new shoes
Pass. There was a time when my family would get new clothes as well as new shoes for Chinese New Year. But I own a fair number of footwear and so does my girl. Hubs has enough shoes to open a shoe shop... My son has 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of formal shoes and 1 pair of sandals. In his eyes, that's sufficient so we let him be. Everyone gets new clothes because hubs is pretty particular about that.

9. Get new hair
I just spent 3 hours at my hairstylist's salon getting a cut trim and some light hair colour. I wish my hair would grow slower. My hairstylist loves my hair a bit too much. Each time I ask for a cut, it's a negotiation. If I ask for 2 inches, she'll bargain it down to 1 inch. It's like she owns my hair.

10. Clean my home
I already did a big clean up in December so I'm letting myself off the hook.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Chun Again

Last Feb, I created 2 versions of chun (spring) which is a common Chinese New Year decoration. Well, Chinese New Year is almost here. If you want a printable of chun, please go here to download.

I had made an applique version of chun which I rather like but I left it unfinished because I was lazy. I used masking tape to tape the decoration to the wall.

The unfinished chun applique had been bugging me since then and recently I dug it out from the Ikea box where I keep all my unfinished applique.
I didn't want to think too hard about what to do so I did it the same way as my Perfect Miter tute. I cut the backing with an extra 1" all round. I didn't use any basting glue or pins to hold the 3 layers together (there's a thin layer of batting in between) which I regretted because making the miter was rather hard when the layers kept shifting. Still, I managed it in the end. I wish to thank my walking foot for a job well done.

Finally my chun applique is finished. You know what? This is my first completed UFO in 2019.

I used a very clumsy way to hang the applique. This is how creative lazy Jane is - 2 safety pins with rings attached and a bamboo skewer between the rings. This is not a good method and I highly recommend that you don't follow it. But it works.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Pom Poms And Tassels

In November last year, Spotlight opened a branch in the western part of Singapore and it's not too far from my home. I went to the shop hoping to use my "spend $100 get $40 off" coupon. Shockingly I couldn't find anything to buy except this bag of pom poms. Why did I buy the pom poms? Here's the thing. I really hate to make my own pom poms. I think it's a huge waste of yarn and most importantly, I get no joy making them. Plus it's cheap.

But the bag of pom poms sat in the drawer day after day because I guess I have no need for pom poms. Well until today when I decided to make another accessory for a zipper pocket to justify the purchase.

Remember this tassel tutorial I made in 2015? I thought I'll marry pom poms with a tassel. If you don't know how to make a tassel, you can refer to my tute. If you want to make your own pom pom, google pom pom tutorial. I'm sure you'll get at least 60k hits.

 I tied the middle with a thread which I will use later to piece the pom poms and beads together.

I have a lot of beads which need to be made into something.

Put the pom poms and beads together with a thread and needle.

At the top, I attached a ring, sewed a knot and hid the ends.

I used a lobster clasp thingy so you have the option of removing easily.

The only issue with using store bought pom poms is you can't use the exact same colour yarn for the tassel.

I made another pom pom tassel thingy - this time I attached it to a rope.

I now have 134 pom poms left. What else shall I make?

p.s. Crescent Bag Pattern available here.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Pig Applique Template

Edit 14 Jan: Sorry guys, the pig applique template link has been removed.
The Year of the Pig is a little over 3 weeks away. It starts on 5th Feb 2019 and ends Jan 24 2020. If you're not aware, the Pig is the 12th in the 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac. If you're born in the year of the pig, your age this year is a multiple of 12. (12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84,  96, 108) Thank you Miss Tan for teaching me how to multiply by 12.

In honour of the coming Year of the Pig, I'm giving you guys the applique templates of my mama pig and little pig. I have combined them, uploaded it to my google drive and you can download the PDF here. I do sell these 2 applique templates in my Etsy shop for a tiny amount of money so PLEASE DO NOT pass the pdf around as a freebie. The pigs PDF is given to you guys for free until Sunday 13th January 2019, Singapore time. When I wake up on Monday, I will delete the link. So download ASAP.

This is what I made - my applique of the pig. The fabric I used is a very lovely pseudo patchwork Japanese fabric. I sewed the outline using straight stitch (stitch length 2.0) with an open toe foot. I used black polyester thread, the same thread I use for sewing bags and clothes. The eye and tail are hand embroidery using DMC thread.

And this is mama pig applique. The fabric is a delicious pastries print scrap. It's unfortunate I chose a very wrinkly background muslin. I sewed the outline using straight stitch with an open toe foot. I increased the stitch length to 3.0 because I used Aurifil 40wt thread and I felt the longer stitch makes the outline look better. The eye and tail are hand embroidery using DMC thread.

Later if I feel inspired, I might turn these 2 applique into a little art quilt. Something like my rooster art quilt.

Those of you who are incapable of sewing, you can trace the pig applique templates onto scrap booking paper, cut it out and paste onto coloured paper. Like these...

p.s. if you need help sewing your applique, do refer to my applique tutes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019


Do you have any WIPs (Work In Progress) brought forward from 2018? Some of you might ask: what's the difference between WIP and UFO (Unfinished Objects). The big difference is, for WIP, you continue to work on the project. UFOs are usually abandoned, hidden, put away and spend most of their lives in drawers, cabinets or storeroom (in my case). They're close to being done but require effort to make it into a completely finished project. A WIP can turn into an UFO when you stop working on it completely. It's usually towards the end of a project when things can get dangerous - you lose enthusiasm, you lose the momentum and finally you lose complete interest. When my kids need a pep talk, I like to use a race as an analogy. I told them: don't slow down when you near the finish line. The closer you get to crossing the finish line, the more effort you have to put in to give that final boost to shoot you across. I wish I could give myself the same pep talk when I face my UFOs!

I have a few WIPs which I believe will take many hundreds of days and nights to finish.

After finishing my first lace scarf, I jumped into this one which is similar but the pattern is slightly more difficult and often makes me want to dig out my eyeballs. I managed to reach 18 inches.

Believe it or not, this is supposed to be a sweater. It's crochet and very boring. I'm not sure if I want to complete it. But I have the correct amount of yarn. Plus I've already crocheted so many rows. I can't bear to rip it out. When I crochet, I don't use any lifelines. <expert>

This was supposed to be my first lace shawl but I ran out of room on my circular needle so I had to buy a longer circular needle. I couldn't get the exact same size needle so I'm quite screwed.

This is not an easy lace shawl pattern. It is interesting to knit so I'm keen to keep going. One section of the shawl is almost impossible to knit. I bruised my hands doing it.

Now that my arms are not so hedious and children won't run away crying when they see them, I'm keen to make a sleeveless top for myself. I do have lots of sleeveless top - all from running events. This one though will be a knit top and possibly tight so I'd better start on my tummy toning exercises.

This WIP is what I dread working on most. I have to clean up my blog - removing all the links to my now defunct Craftsy shop. I could leave the links as is but I don't like dead links.

I promised I would update my tutorials page. Unfortunately it's hot as hell so lets KIV (keep in view). It'll get done, don't worry.

Finish my current bag pattern. <I need a pep talk!>
Related Posts with Thumbnails

My Bag Pattern Shop

My Applique Patterns

My Embroidery Patterns