Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Lunar New Year

Hello! I was supposed to update my blog last week with something made, ain't I? But I was swamped with looking after a very sick child who made sure my many consecutive nights were sleepless and I was meted out the worst tantrum and crying scenes. ever.

Then my parents and brother came to visit last Wednesday and so it was showing them around town and some cooking done. We spent the passing of the Chinese New Year together and they returned home yesterday. I still feel a little sad about that.

Now that life is back to the quiet and my boy is nearly his cheery normal self, here I am writing this post entry. Below is a photo of me wearing the 'red threads' dress on the first day of the Lunar New Year, I promised to put up. Wishing everyone a  wonderful year of prosperity, good health and happiness!

Friday, January 13, 2012

banana raisins Bread Pudding

I cooked a full pot of curry chicken+potatoes with lots of gravy yesterday and Brian and I ate it with baguette and baguette only. It was our favourite way of savouring the curry gravy with the thickly sliced baguette bread sponging it up. The pot's gravy was gone before the bread by day's end and I'm left with more than a handful, I decided to use the leftover bread to make pudding. Into the ingredients were also the remaining comb of bananas starting to turn brown and raisins (Staple in my family. My three year old's favourite snack fruit.)

Here's how I made the pudding:


4 cups of bread, cut into small pieces
4 cups of milk
1 big spoonful of butter
6 eggs
1+half cup of granule sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
10 small (finger length) bananas, mashed
2 packs or less of Sun Maid raisins - (1 pack=1+half ounce)
half teaspoon of powder cinnamon

Soak the bread pieces into the milk for an hour.
During the wait, Kaeden and I went to the back yard and pretended it was the beach outside. I had him helped me "collect" starfishes, sea weed, shells and fish. He enjoyed it and it was an opportunity to get him under the sun to heal from his long drawn cold.

Preheat the oven at 170 deg C.

Butter up the baking dish(es) and set aside.
I used two oval deep dish from Ikea.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla essence together and pour the mixture over the soaked bread. Stir in raisins, mashed bananas and cinnamon. Pour the final mixture into the baking dishes and set them into larger baking dishes filled with water. Bake for an hour or until a wooden (satay) stick comes out clear after inserting into the pudding. Mine took about 80mins to set in the oven.

Cut pudding up into slices and serve them warm or chilled. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

red threads

It's 2012. Last week overlapped into this and my year started off without much of a blast. How were your first days of the new year?

Unlike the last year which I adopted the motto of living life in its stride, I have some grand plans for this year. There are some ambitions I hope to achieve. As for blogging, I have to admit I was contemplating to end it in the last months as my crafting times come to a slow. But for now, I'll just carry on recording my handwork and others just like how I'd done online over here for the past years. I'll try to keep this space going for as long as I can. Perhaps having a goal for my blog space would be ideal; say:  

Make something every week. 

Then I'll have a 'something' to write about weekly. I'm not sure if I could keep this up through the year though but hey, I'll try my very best!

So for this week, I have a new dress made.

The lunar new year is coming and the Chinese practice the tradition of donning new clothes on the first day, particularly good if the garment is in the auspicious hue of red. I've never been one to adhere to that, sad to say. I'd ever worn black! Those adolescent years.. Considering the past 2 years hadn't been friendly with me, I'm going to up the good vibes by following the dress-red tradition. Who knows, it might work for a better year!

Burdastyle pattern #115
I mentioned I'd worked on Burdastyle pattern (10/2011 Dress with Peter Pan collar and pin tuck #115) before and had failed. I couldn't get the pleats right and after attaching the sleeves, the top bodice of the dress looked disastrous on me.
Burdastyle pattern #116

I realized that pattern #116 is included in the above pattern printout and I decided to make a simpler version of it, without sleeves.

Using pinkish red tone batik, prints unique to Palembang, I also added bias tape for facing when making the dress. The dress silhouette is a loose fit hence instead of a back zipper, I opted for a key hole fastening using a special butterfly shaped brass(?) fastening my friends had given me from a Vietnam trip a few years ago.

I'll put up photos of me wearing the dress on the lunar new year day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kaeden's photo collage :: the 3rd year

This photo frame memory keeper of Kaeden is done up only recently.  It contains the photos of him when he was a new 2 year old until the day he celebrated his 3rd birthday. As my photos get more and cluttered each day in my computer, I decided it's time to start printing these physical photos before I lose them virtually. Kaeden got to be involved in putting this frame together as well.

This frame contains coloured photographs unlike the previous two as Kaeden's growth slows and colours would be nice to highlight the surroundings and items in those pictures. I also included photos taken of Kaeden with my grandfather and his grandparents which I thought to be important for there were the interactions between them at that age.

Here are the close ups:

Soon, the 3-4 year old frame to do! He's going to be four in just 3 months' time. My baby, now a  kiddo who does head stands and argues back! Here is a photo that might go into the frame-to-be.

Kaeden learns to roller skate this morning with most of the protective gears in place. He is learning on the new pair of Fisher Price skates which I had him wait to open on Sunday. He is now on the step 2 mode, inching forward r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Last minute gifts

Last minute gift

It seems inevitable that we would have to do some visiting as a family this weekend, starting tonight and I thought I could escape all of it. Not that I don't like visiting. Brian has been really occupied with work these past days and I'm hoping for some quiet family time together, plus there isn't a long weekend holiday here. It's back to work on Monday. It's the same for coming New Year's day weekend! hhmmph...

tea towels

Christmas paper tags

I realized I haven't prepare anything for the home visits. (Quite unlike the me in the past two years. I guess I was really hoping for the quiet time real bad.) Last evening I printed out some Christmas tags (for free, from Geninne and Camilla Engman. Some more pretty ones ::here:: !) in a jiffy in Brian's office and then headed to the supermarket to purchase some tea towels and packets of biscuits. It's a little sad the office printer's ink system had gotten wonky hence explained the only red and black-ish cards. But it will do. and I have a thing for tea towels if anyone has already noticed. They are such practical and pretty things.

Last minute gifts

I wrapped up the packed biscuits on each tea towel bento style and attached the cards with twine this morning. They are really inexpensive and quick to put together.

Happy holidays, everyone!

ps. I promise to write one more post here before the year's end.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

of waiting & giving

Please excuse my few and far between blog posts. It ain't so that I haven't been crafting and nothing exciting or special had happened lately. I had attempted to sew a dress, in particular this pattern from burdastyle and I had failed. Miserably. That was about 2+ weeks ago. Then I had a house guest for a week from two Saturdays ago. Our friends' son, a very well behaved 11 year old came to stay and play. It was a valuable time having him around I must say. In the midst of it, we baked and I sewed two pouches which just didn't seem new to warrant a spot in this blog anymore.

It's coming to the end of the year and I always do a spot of thinking of how my year's been. How's yours coming along? I'm happy to report that Kaeden has grown a few centimetres and he's getting to be a lot of fun to be around. He makes me laugh at least once (off setting the times he made me mad, of course) a day. It is always something he says out of the blue, very candid views of his that amazes me each day. 

The other day, grandpa gave Kaeden a present after a trip but I decided to hold him off from opening it until later. He's been getting a few gifts from friends lately. I also had an intention of him learning to skate so I bought a pair of roller skates and had it gift wrapped. I decided Kaeden had to learn to wait for X'mas='opening of presents day' by rewarding him a candy for each day that passed. He's been good so far. We don't celebrate Christmas but I like the tradition of gift giving and receiving. Who doesn't? I'm going to involve Kaeden into making/drawing something for Brian and me in return. Hopefully he'll enjoy the special year end tradition and from it,  learn to show appreciation to loved ones by sharing and giving.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

fabric by the Kilogram

fabric by the Kilo
Along Jalan Dr. M. Isa; Palembang

fabric by the Kilo

Just after lunch and on the way home yesterday, I spotted a little shack by the road with a banner out front advertising sale of fabric by the weight. I thought I'd managed to contain my excitement well (I could have gone hysterical. Not that I needed to buy fabric. I just thought that finally, the thrift gods are smiling at me.) and stopped our ride not too far away and checked the place out.

I'd to remove my sandals before stepping into the tiny place where lots of fabric are stacked around on the floor. There is a variety of materials, some in big bundle bags and in one of those containing good lengths of sweet plain white/cream lace the locals are fond of using as curtains which I really like seeing through their house windows.

While browsing and sifting through the stash, I chatted with the two ladies in the store. Ibu Yaya is the shopkeeper and from whom I learn that her stock came from Bandung; a place of textile factories and popular for its many clothing factory outlets. and gosh, was I glad I talked to them because they shared with me more thrift/vintage shopping venues, of one I verified later in the evening. I was two bagful happy from that trip. Thank you, thrift gods.

From the fabric shack, I bought about 600gm of fabric. 2metres of navy coloured swiss dots cotton, a big remnant of pale pink/blue polka and 2metres of a very pretty light weight border print.

about 600gm