Tuesday, December 25, 2007

plants

There weren't much significant activities happening except maybe for the past two days, we had some new plants for the front porch.


Two pots of the above.



My bonsai. It's a Fujian or Fukien Tea specie. I'm drawn to its overall shape and it has small white flowers.



I also planted some of these little flowering plants on the two long window ledge at the front. Hope there'll be more of them as months pass.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Now that I know what they're for..

I started out already knowing how I want my pregnancy and birthing to be. The definitive is, if so can happen, the delivery to be a natural and drug free one. I can say I psyche my mind almost everyday with this message. I'm looking at attending a HypnoBirthing course next year, hopefully to further equip myself with 100% (possible? hmm..) determination and the ability to cope with whatever I might face during labour (gosh.. the pain!) and delivery.


The other aspect I'm readying myself for motherhood is, breastfeeding. Halfway through reading the book above, my mental commitment to do so wavered. Breastfeeding is a commitment, just like most things in life but I never realise it'll be a HUGE one. A newborn breastfeeds about 12 times every 24 hours. Each feeding session can take up to an hour and that means I'll be a 24hr breastaurant.

I was a infant formula fed baby and when I asked why wasn't I given the au naturale way, my mum as a matter of fact simply put it, "Don't know how to. Nobody teach." Well, that's my mum. Before knowing much on this topic, I thought feeding a baby the motherly way is an instinct. Later I learn, it is, but just like a baby learning to walk, it takes practice. Plus some know how, plus lots of support. Plus having to endure the pain.. once again for the first few (or many) feedings if the latch-on = baby's mouth to nipple is incorrect.

Receiving support is important and I know, considering my mum doesn't "know how", I'll have to look for them myself. The husband is fully supportive for one. Whew! (Brian, don't give up before I do, k? Remind me of this post if I whine/complain/get mad.) Here's a mothers' internet forum where I know I'll gain many advice and tips on this topic: Moms 4 Moms Singapore

Here are some pros of breastfeeding or otherwise, cons of formula feeding, to convince myself that I'm making the right decision:

1) close physical bonding only mothers can have with their babies
2) The all important colostrum in the first few days after birth.
3) Formula feed = lower IQ by 5 to 10 points (Crap! I could've been a doctor!)
4) Formula fed babies see the doctors almost twice as often as breastfed babies do.
5) Breastfed babies have better eyesight. (I hate to be myopic.)
6) Breastfed babies have straighter teeth and fewer cavities. (I want straight teeth....)

I'm not giving the infant formula the complete no-no into the household as I'm just not sure how long I'm able to provide (mental + physical commitment-wise) for the child his milk naturally and eventually start weaning the baby. Giving myself a timeline is impractical at the moment. 6 months minimum? Giving the best to my child within my means is what I want to do.


Oh... speaking of reading up, I'm onto my next book now.. to take my mind off motherhood issues (for a while). A bookgift from my mum. No, I'm never mad at her for not breastfeeding me when I was a baby.

Monday, December 17, 2007

low tech


Did I mention Brian and I have an unexplained love for typewriters? The Royal above is the third we have, being "rescued" from the old office here. The first two we collected, were thrift buys from Sungei Road and are now lovingly kept at home in Singapore.

I plan to make personal name cards by using Royal. That will be the only project I can do now.

+++++++++++

Our friend, Fred has a photo-blog at 'Days in Transit' where he has put up some idyllic looking photos taken off low-tech cameras.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

eyeballing


The new neighbour across is doing some renovation works before anyone moves in. The lovely winding stairs was removed and laid across their front compound. We are eyeing it. Though it's highly unlikely it's going to the dumps. We notice the locals here hold onto to their material belongings (eg. typewriters are still in use at offices) for the longest time.

and just for its sake.. a shot of Mambo at his goofiest, this morning. (yep, he's still around and according to the master, he won't be leaving...)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In (photo) Transition

I've been back to Palembang for a week and I should have blogged many days back but I didn't. I'm sorry. I feel I'm not doing good at this journaling thing anymore. My excuse? I'm out of internet connection which left me pretty much technologically crippled. I'm not able to do much on my laptop without the internet, I realize. How pathetic!

Alas, today... I have the internet back.

I was looking through the photos which I've taken on my camera while in Singapore. Some lovely shots of my best friends and also these..

which were taken on a shopping trip at Haji Lane,


where we were pleased to find more shops carrying Independent labels as compared to the previous time we were there months ago. I like taking pictures of old buildings and wish I could capture every old world charm I find in them.

Here's a photo of a pair of lovebirds outside one of the shops along the same lane. The partner spent a good time trying to convince me that they are NOT the Olie and Snuggles I used to know.



Now, back to Palembang. Have I not shown you our new old ride? My bad. Here they are, after I sneaked out of home this afternoon with my camera.


It arrived from Jakarta by road on Brian's birthday, a little more than a month ago. I can't climb up onto our ambulance now and this will be the family car.


My favourite part of the vehicle? It has to be the steering wheel.

Friday, November 30, 2007

November Wind


I remembered when we first got the keys to this house a few years back and stepped into it, I was overtaken by the constant chilly wind blowing in from the kitchen windows. I call it the November wind. Because it only occurs from this part of the year to the early part of next's.

I sat at the dining room this morning and the cool November wind greeted me. It's a really nice feeling and made feel so refreshed. At the table, I also had my laptop with me and started working out on the bits on putting up some stuff on etsy.

Here's my online shop
Table Calender at Etsy.com .

Monday, November 26, 2007

time against emotions

Buttons - gift from Yvonne, my sis-in-law when she visited in the afternoon today.



I wanted to make it point to blog almost every other day after my previous one. But it seems these days, thinking is much much easier than carrying the action out.

The next day after our anniversary I had to make an urgent trip back to Indonesia, in which case, the nearest island, Batam for there were visa issues we had to settle. We only had a few hours to pack before we managed to catch the second last ferry. It wasn't an easy trip there. I was in tears, before leaving home and on the ferry. Well, the stay there wasn't at all terrifying though and I think, we had some peace.

We came back on the Friday night and the weekend was spent running errands, attending a wedding dinner and spending as much time as we could with my family. I still feel guilty that I haven't been spending enough time with my parents and brother.

Today, I had tagged and packed most of my handmade stuff with immense help from Brian (yet again). It seems my dependency level has gone up way high and I'm not liking it one bit. I've been planning to set up shop in Etsy and had got a friend to assist in posting so I'll be bringing my things for sale to him tomorrow.

Despite my tiredness, I managed to play a little on my piano just now. It's been a long long time. There are so much I want to do and achieve within this trip, I keep feeling time has the upper hand. I refrain from tiring myself too much and try to keep calm most times. Maybe it's the hormones. When I feel fear, I actually become very afraid. When there's sadness, I cry (almost short of bawling). When there's joy, I smile not knowing consciously my face is doing the muscle work until someone points it out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

date

It's our wedding anniversary today so we had a whole day date. The most fun part had to be when we were at the Botanic Gardens and of course the walk in the National Orchid Garden inside. That place brought back sweet memories of our wedding dinner held 3 years back.

There were a few photos taken and I was slightly stunned by my current figure when I viewed them in my camera. Well, in a good 'stunned' manner. Not that I haven't been keeping track of my continuous weight gain. Anyway, I was so filled up with lots of good food, the highlight being lunch at the Halia Restaurant. A place we've always wanted to try and well, it's worth the wait I guess.

On the way out of the park, Brian spotted this tiny four leafed (or is it two?) being..


among a pile of dead leaves under a tree. There was a shower of rain while we were having lunch. It was a really pleasant find and I took that as a good sign. I hope someone who passes the same way after us, notices it too.

We did some shopping in town later in the day and the buy for myself is a pair of shoes for my doll.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oops



I haven't been using my camera as much as I'll like to. As I search very hard for an photo opportunity just now, I tried to find words for today's blog post content. Out came Shokupanman, my little wooden japanese bread-(headed) superhero from the fabric drawer, making an appearance on my laptop.

**

Brian and I went to see the gynae last evening for my latest check-up. On almost every other day before, I did a prep talk to my baby:

"Open your legs wide, k? When mummy and daddy go see you through ultra sound at the clinic, I want to know if you're a boy or a girl."

The mum to be requested again just before she came down the vehicle and walked into the clinic on that day.

I tried not to laugh when I saw baby being soooo cooperative. It was obvious. The doctor said it's 90% accurate. We're having a boy.

Now, I've heard of cases when babies thought (and seen) to be boys came into the world as girls.

At home,

Mum to be: Was it a finger?

Father to be: I saw the testicles first.

Mum to be: Oh... (laugh!)

**

I wanted to show the picture of the latest printout of the ultra sound but decided against as it wasn't a clear one, really. We had some hiccuped style guilty laughs and apologized to our baby because, guess what, we've already decided on a girl's name and had used it on several occasions already. Baby decided it's high time we stop.

Time to think differently. No Hello Kitty or Sylvannian Families. Bring on the thoughts of Transformers, Shinkansen, bicycles, skate skooters, roller-blades, remote control helicopters and planes.. (The last items contributed by Brian.)

Click Here, if you're a Optimus Prime fan.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This morning



I wonder why I took so long but I finally got to listen to Green Day's version of 'Working Class Hero'. The only band I've the almost entire collection of albums.

It's because of the message from the video, I go learn more about 'Save Darfur'.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

new nest

Finally, we have a place to call our own in Palembang at least for the next two years. We moved into the new estate a few days ago.



There were a lot of work done on the house during the past two weeks as the previous tenants in my most honest opinion were very irresponsible with the premise. Brian had to get handymen to repair some parts of the gaping ceiling for one.

Now, the place is rather comfortable with some minor areas to be fixed and we're done.


(Wall feature)

("cave" Store room)

We're all happy with the new home and I hope the dogs will be too in a while. Here's Mambo having some leash off time at the back of the house this afternoon.



My sweetheart who has been giving me lots of heartache + some headache lately. Brian and I have come to the conclusion that Mambo will not be able to live with our other two schnauzers for the rest of his life. He has been living separately from Mickey under the same roof for more than a year. We thought we could encourage them living harmoniously in the new place but apparently not. There were numerous bloody fights. No one is happy. We had to make that tough but necessary decision of re-homing him. Tough love. Tears were and more will be shed.

On a completely different note, I'm early in my second trimester of pregnancy now. I hope this explains my very sporadically blog posts and my lack of crafting. Due to old wives' tales, particularly my mum's, I'm off sewing. It was wrenchingly hard for me not to craft (Don't get me wrong. I'm no mummy's girl. It's just... fear? Maternal protective instincts kicking in?) and I looked back at those days when I really did nothing. Though the thought that I'm actually making someone comforts and reverse the previous feeling. Brian and I are extremely thrilled and we've basically been living in joy amidst others.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

No, it wasn't the earthquake.


Our fence and wall got bashed without us knowing. We were only told of it when our helper came to the house this morning after noticing the damage first. It either happened when we were out last night or when we were asleep. The dogs barked rather loudly in the night once but we thought it would be the usual, the neighbourhood cats treading in our grounds.



It's obvious though. The culprit is a driver in a mobile, reversing from the entrance of that neighbour. There wasn't a note. No one came to apologize.

I really hope the deal for a rental place we've been eyeing for months, pulls through tomorrow.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wants

Intense food craving(s):

Chai Tow Kway

Frustration: Where or how to get the radish flour cakes? I want to be in Singapore now just so I can easily pop over to any hawker food centre.

So I thought a lo-bak-go dish can help after reading the tempting food blog entry and afterwards finding a recipe. I was so excited about how mine would turn out today when setting about in the kitchen. Some nervous streaks were in the spine when the cake didn't set when steaming and when it did after I allowed it to cool, "Why no one is around to advise on its utter bitterness when the cake was finally brought to the mouth?"!

I. am. so. devastated. I want to eat them. so. bad.

To bring those mouth salivating food off my mind temporary, I'll talk about the two parcels in the mail for Brian and me this week.


Our friends sent us the movie I wanted to watch before they left for Indonesia. 'Dage' and S. Cheng are currently in Bali pursuing a year of arts in a school there. They're living in Ubud, our favourite place! I hope we'll get to watch the animation tomorrow and besides Singapore, I want to be in Ubud.



From New Zealand, a dear blog-friend Melissa sent me the tree bag I must have. She also generously gave us two sweet sweet items which I'm longing to show but will do so, on a later date. I promise.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

tremors


Now I do have something to say. What an experience!

Brian and I were grocery shopping in a major supermarket in a shopping mall when the quake occurred at Bengkulu last evening and we (no, Brian) felt the tremors.

he, squatted on the floor to pick up a tin on the lowest shelf: "Did you feel that?"
me, bending over to pick another tin: "Feel what?"

Subsequently I saw the flags on the shelves continuously flapped and I thought it was because of me picking up the tin! How blissfully (?) unaware can I get?

The tremors were felt by people around and I realized today even as far as Singapore. The supermarket was crowded as many local muslims were doing their last bit of shopping for Ramadan which starts today. Being relatively new in Palembang, it was when we were there then I found out there's such a trend for this form of shopping frenzy. The exiting of the supermarket and mall was a nightmare as parts of the entrance which in last evening's case, mainly exit were sealed or locked up, causing a heavy bottleneck of human traffic.

I was clinging on to Brian's back, arms around his waist as people shoved and pushed from behind. I was so worried and thoroughly disgusted by the locked and sealed doors!

We were unhurt and went home to check on the dogs. Everyone is okay in the family. Thank you for asking, dear friends and it means huge to me. My heart is all warmed up.

My thoughts also went out to those who have truly experienced the quake and its aftermath. It may sound crappy but it's through this experience (which resulted in a restless night's sleep) that made me further appreciate the safety of homeland Singapore and ponder into our future (yet again).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stare up


I'm getting sick of my blog being left alone for so long, I'm determined that I do up a post today despite yet again, the reality of me having nothing much to say. Doing up a photo mosaic is something I've wanted to learn and so I got to it after feeling inspired by what I've seen in various blogs and in flickr. I managed one today and found out that it wasn't that tricky after all with the help of the website, BigHugeLabs :: Mosaic Maker which is flickr friendly too.

The above mosaic shows the old lamps and highly intricate ceiling of where I'm staying now. They remind me of the 'Crop Circle - Is it real?' program I watched on National Geographic last afternoon.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

change of scenery


I was complaining the other day how bored I was and the lack of scenery there is to see in this town. So Brian suggested going to the most decent pond around, one he got acquainted after meeting up some local people who drive Volkswagon vehicles as they were having a gathering over there yesterday. My first question to that suggestion was, "Any mosquitoes?".

So the walk this morning at the pond was bite-free and a good short change of scenery for me.



Something I put together. The box came free with a japanese craft magazine and I decided it to be a 'Red' theme box and had some relevant contents put inside to be stored away. A small pouch I did soon after I got my sewing machine. It was more a trial and error thing as you can see the different stitching I tried on the fabric which later I made into a small pouch. A useless tiny scissors and a measuring tape unused. A vintage flower embroidery left behind in this house by Brian's mother.

Friday, August 31, 2007

week? okay, just today.

## I apologize if my previous post had caused some to worry. I received the most wonderful care-mails and even a surprise long distance phone call after and I had assured and if I haven't done so, want you to rest assured that everyone in the family here is healthy and living in harmony. (wink) ##

Now, this post is about....

There isn't much to summarize for the week when one doesn't leave home for 5 whole days. So just

today:

Having the teacher come in for lesson on Bahasa Indonesia.



and looking into the "PIF" parcel which arrived for me yesterday from Kwoozy in Australia.



I received a lovely patchwork purse which I'll definitely have a use for, pretty fabric cut outs to make a kwoozy pear(!) and a cute bird keychain which I promptly attached to the strap of my camera after taking the above shot.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

drizzle

Hi,

you wouldn't want to know the number of times I changed my first sentence and the thing is, the news I'm going to break is, I won't be crafting, for a long time to come. Ha, gothca! What were you thinking? This is hard for me, most definitely but there are other areas that require my attention now and for some-long-time ahead. I hate to be ambiguous. Forgive me. This post has to be it for the time being.

I've been debating on how I'm going to keep this blog or not at all these past days. After all Fiona's crafting and blogging go hand in hand. There isn't much I can or rather, am capable of writing without my finished project as the main point in most blog posts.

But, I'll try. I've to keep this blog alive even if it has to be sporadically maintained. With some random thoughts, some photos, whatever helps in blogging. I decided today. Thanks to the drizzle outside.


A drizzle, in my opinion is the best form of rain anyone could get. For once, I sat the longest outside my room because the irritating mosquitoes will not hover and the breeze came in easily through the lonesome gap of the window. Very nice and

I'd company, can you tell?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Where's the library?




I haven't make a bag in a long while. Something simple like bookbags I hope would help me get my internal crafting engine moving again as I've been feeling the lethargy overall. Withdrawing from coffee is a highly suspected reason. Even Brian could pin point the cause exactly and he's been nagging me not to go cold turkey altogether but I'm a ruthless person - person and if I've to do this to myself, I will.

Okay, maybe I'll go for that cup this Sunday?, as a reward. Ha! Counting down the days...

The bookbags are big enough to hold a good lot of volumes. The materials used are the last of my natural linen, I think, it's one that quite resembles gunnysack only not that rough, floral cottons and thread. There is a small lined pocket for each bag.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Along Jalan Merdeka




We were at Jalan Merdeka shopping for light wood lanterns yesterday. Bought two each for a niece and a nephew and one duck wood lantern for myself. These lanterns are only available for sale when nearing Indonesia's Independence Day which is on every 17 th August.

What's interesting is the lady seller would insert the national flag on a satay stick into a boiled red egg and put it on the lantern. My grandma and mum used to boil these red eggs for me on my birthdays to peel and eat when I was little.

My duck's beak came off before I reached home last night and had to repair it by using a sewing needle to hold it in place this morning.

Friday, August 10, 2007

'How one thing can contain everything' - p32

Made:
Brooch (lace, scrap fabric, felt, vintage trim & button, pin and thread)

Reading :
Paul Coelho :: Like the Flowing River

Listening :
Leslie Low :: Worm

Mood :
Reflective; Dreamy


Thursday, August 09, 2007

within the fence (part 2)

I haven't much to say. Well, I think I've never had anything interesting to say actually. Telling people my mood is on the downside is definitely not one. Today's not the best of those days.

Maybe I should continue sharing what other features that constitute my in-law's compound, just so to give this post a little more depth. I'd like to think too, that one day should I share stories of me living in this house to my future child(ren), I'll have photos to proof their legitimacy.

Two very important features outside the house:


Underground Storage Well

It's where a truckload of water fills up once every 3-4 days depending on our usage. I'd say that's #ell lot of precious water we use. We blame that on the *unseen* underground pipes which are *suspected* to have cracks and water were lost whenever we on the pump to direct water flow to the taps at home.


Rubbish Burn Area

Built almost a year ago to burn our rubbish. In this kampung, every household does that. I'm not so supportive of that but life has to go on, things beyond reusing have to be thrown. We made a point not to dispose our not too often used up batteries here. The cat seeking shelter under the neighbor's fruit tree, is one of those which like to chill around that area and scavenge for food before and after every burning session.




A quick brooch I made for myself. I imagine it to be a talisman for peaceful days ahead. (Weird episodes lately and gosh, the earthquake this morning...) The brooch is made of scrap fabric, felt, crystal bead, thread, suede string and my favourite bird kuti-kuti.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

within the fence


Besides rose bushes, there are jasmine plants around the compound of my in-law's place. They must have been planted many years back as the height of these plants are about a small tree's. The plants are thriving as I can't seem to remember when there's not a single jasmine flower. Jasmines are lovely to look at and I notice the scent is especially strong in the early mornings.


As much as I appreciate most types of flowers, I'm especially fond of wild ones, like the above I saw this morning! It thrills me to find them in ugly places. Once I focus on these tiny wild flowers, everything around them seem to disappear from the view. I find them to be exemplary in strength and beauty in this imperfect world.



I managed to tie up the ends of two late birthday parcels which will be hand delivered to each recipient and which explains why there are fake stamps on the envelopes instead. I saw the idea in my latest craft magazine but I'm not too sure if the "stamps" are made of paper or not. I used scrap fabrics, cut the edges and drew on the "stamps". Besides showcasing my childish drawing, I can't think of a better reason why the "stamps" were there, except.. it gives the recipients a reason to keep the envelopes I guess!