Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Want an owl purse?

I drew a new pattern on Brian's past issue of a Rolling Stone magazine for a zip purse earlier and I'm happy with it. It's to do with owls..

The owl zip purse is made of a combination of felt and cotton, zip, thread and vintage brown buttons. The back of the purse shows the owl's black tail as shown below.

There are three similar owl zip purses. To celebrate my new pattern and share my passion for owls, I'm going to give and send them to the first three persons who like the purse and leave a comment in this post. The lucky three will have to pay it forward by making/giving gifts for the next three.

Q: Why can't I just give without the recipient having to do the same?

A: I'd chanced upon and left my first comment on Kwoozy's blog and subsequently got picked to receive her handmade gift. :)

I know 'pay-it-forward' can sound cliche to most people especially after the movie which I haven't watch before. But I believe in having the spirit of fun in giving (within my means & Rupiah-ed allowance, of course, kekeke..) especially in this wonderful craft-blog-world from which I'd gained so much.

I'll keep this offer open for as long as I get first 3 encouraging comments in this post from my visitors. I know I won't have the need to randomly pick as I've never had that many comments from experience. Should there be no takers for say until November, I'll put the purses up in Pass it On or other charity when I return to Singapore.

P.S. If you think you're the first 3 commentors and you're someone new to me, do leave me a way (e.g. blog / e-mail) to contact you, k? Thanks!


Date: 4th August 2007

Thank you all for the lovely comments.
I'm truly thrilled that there
are people who like my owl purses. The 3 of them will be sent off as soon as they are packaged and stamped to the respective ladies:
Kimberlee (anemone)
Kate (fossage)
Megan (flower tree house)


Monday, July 30, 2007

Embedded in the brain

These blank cards are completed using fabric scraps, paper, glue and with the help of a pair of scissors. I will use them as gift cards for friends and maybe include some in my future craft swaps, if any. I can afford to make more of these as my fabric scraps are in abundance.

I'm guessing the reason why I'm fond of mushrooms is partly because I grew up on The Smurfs cartoons (here's one) which regularly show the blue creatures' choice of residence.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

It's been a pretty good day today


i) Our dogs now look nice and tidy, thanks to their personal groomer and paternal in-charge, Brian. They even smell nice for a longer time too.. okay not that long...

ii) Went to help my sis-in-law buy felt and got myself some boring but essential sewing supplies. Came home with extras like these:

vintage buttons; mostly with glitter in plastic which I'd like to think, "Indo-style" like. Some came with free layers of dust over them!

Besides a new grey tiny polka dotted cotton, there are two floral printed ones too.

Cotton floral prints in dark brown tone

Cotton big floral prints in green & white

iii) Bought some papers and envelopes to complete the card project below.

I think I'll be able to finish making the cards and show them tomorrow.

iv) I got picked for the 'Pay it Forward giveaway'! Kwoozy will be making something for me. Gosh! Considering it was by chance I got to her blog and left a comment for the first time. The rule is I've to make something for the first/random 3 persons who would leave a comment in my 'giveaway' post and they will have to carry on the game (?). I start to grow concerned that nobody would be interested in what I'll be giving away and worse, for them to continue this game. Nevertheless, I'll be making the giveaway gifts and announce in an official post sometime this week despite my half empty glass perspective.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No thread, No do

I've run out of thread, even ones in basic colours. So the owl eyeglass cases will have to wait to be completed until I make a trip to the sewing supplies shop again. It will happen only this weekend and I guess I won't be blogging 'til then.

Meanwhile, two photos to share..

My new buddies for now as one of my pair of Birkenstock of 4 years is surviving on a band-aid. The above is recently bought in a sale. I hope to have my old chums repaired (for the second time) and maybe get a new pair like this on my next trip home to Singapore.

Just had lunch there.. Satay...

Will be back soon!

Monday, July 23, 2007

new clothes & some memories

To see:
Close-up photo of the above, click here.
Photo of above clothes, click here.

The weather is turning chilly. Maybe it's because of that, I've decided to make a new set of warm looking clothes for my doll. Maybe by doing so, I'll feel a bit warmer too. It was REALLY difficult making those tiny clothes. I think I've lost a few strands of hair when attaching the sleeves to the jacket alone. I wouldn't want anyone to see the underside of the jacket as well. The edges are so raw, I'll like the image of it to remain a secret between me and my doll.

If you find the fabric for the jacket familiar, that's because it's from the scraps of this shirt. The dress is made of brown felt. I remember vividly that the mother of my best friend in my early Primary School days used to help make clothes for our Barbie dolls. (You would count someone who played 'zero point' with you at the corridor and also who stayed 5 storeys above you as your best friend in those days.) I was so grateful to auntie then for it was really fun changing clothes for my dolls. Never would I imagine myself to be sewing dolls' clothes one day and to realize how challenging it is. But the satisfaction of having it done despite flaws, is immense.

I never have any of those Barbie dolls with me anymore. I ruthlessly gave them all away to my younger cousins when I was to turn into a teenager. My mother had questioned me severely about my action then. Some dolls were gifts from my dear beloved aunt. Ever since she left us, I felt the need to not see the dolls too at that point of time. I still don't have a good explanation for that until now.

The blythe doll is my only treasured one for now. I used to admire the mentioned best friend's long hair which were tied into plaids very often. As a child, I wasn't allowed to keep my hair long. Never had. My blythe doll reminds me fondly of those days when I sport that similar hairdo.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

aged plastic love

Lately, I'm very drawn to things that look a little aged, especially plastic items. I like to look out for retro cups too, made of plastic and glass that the local supermarkets still sell although I don't buy them. I rediscovered the clothespins that Brian's mummy bought a long time back. I was cleaning up the house when we first moved here and uncovered some stuff that his mummy left behind. As we don't use clothesline to dry our laundry, I kept the clothespins in the cupboard, knowing that it'll come in handy one day.

I opened it up today to use it for taking photos of my completed zip clutch purses. From the price tag of the packaging, Brian and I realized the clothespins were bought from the Emporium shopping centre in Singapore, defunct some long time back . I've have fond memories of shopping with my mother there. Do you?

The purses are made of similar materials used for the one in my previous post. The differences are that I used different coloured zips and felt flowers to match each other. There are two of each of the above. Brown zips + yellow felt flowers; green zips + white felt flowers; red zips + red felt flowers; orange zips + orange felt flowers. The orange ones are slightly smaller because I realized the orange zips are a wee shorter than the others.

I used up my polka dotted linen with scraps remaining for small projects. I felt a little lost then because I really like that fabric a lot and it was the only polka dotted one I had. On the other hand, I feel great that it was being used up to create useful things. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way about a treasured craft material.

Talk about being useful, I'm sure the lunch-box above will be helpful in organizing my sewing kits. I thrifted it from a supermarket yesterday. I like its prints, tomatoes or strawberries I'm quite undecided. It is plastic and I'm not sure if it's made many years ago or that quality of things here can be pretty lousy, I think it is quite retro-ish.

So glad I managed to take the photos above earlier today because it's raining heavily now and looks like one that will last hours. Love the sound of rain and I'm still bent on catching a rainbow one day although I think I won't have such luck today. The sun has retired already from what I see!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007



Some felt flowers. Originally meant for hair clips, pattern from vintage McCall's 8895.


Put felt flowers on a zip clutch purse.

Action taken:

Materials used: Cotton & linen, zip, vintage floral trim, thread & fabric interface.
Measures: height 14cm; length 25 cm

Lining of zip clutch purse.

Make some more of similar purse until polka dotted linen runs out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

mush in moss

k, a quick post here. I was in the office today and decided to take a photo of the above. A pin robot pointing to my mushroom brooch made a long time back on my laptop crumpler bag in the shade of olive green and khaki. The pin fondly reminds me of my Beepbots and I like it a lot. I bought a letter set sometime back for a little more than a dollar each and the pin comes together with it. There's also another set which comes with another cool robot pin, gave it to Brian and okay, that's beside the point.

While in the loo, I thought of a haiku and after a few juvenile variations, I decided on one that best describes the little scene on my bag, although I do think it is not very far from being crappy as well.

Here goes,

In the midst of all
Mushroom in the land of Moss
Shelter for the 'bot

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fill it with bread

Made earlier from fabric, polyester batting and thread, a basket which I'll like to fill up with bread from a bakery and send to an aunt tomorrow. The pattern for the basket is from my Japanese craft book ISBN4-8347-2303-8, one I use very often.

The aunt is my father-in-law's cousin and she has been a motherly figure to Brian and me, here in Palembang. When I came down with flu on Friday, aunt S. Seng and her husband together with Brian accompanied me to the doctor's. It was my first time having to go to a clinic and we haven't any idea which one to go to. I felt guilty that I'd to involve so many people just for me to see a doctor. I was very used to the convenience of being able to take a short trip on a bus or walk by myself to a clinic in Singapore. The doctor told me that I'm able to live like a queen here but like an ant back home. It was a loose example but one that says a lot of a lifestyle difference.

When I first came here, I'd to get used to the fact that I'm not able to travel on my own. Not able to drive and really, I won't have the guts to, on such haphazard traffic even if I do. Public transport is out of the range for me as I'm used to system, safety and comfort. I become quite a homebody now but I'm not complaining. I quite like it despite the fact that my social life goes a deep low. Of course there are many other frustrations take for example, power shortage happened twice at home yesterday (and very often) but I always tried to step back after the anger and remind myself that I'm here to experience all these and that there are many people in the world living in far worse conditions. Indeed, maybe I'm living like a queen, not forgetting that a queen has to give up on many things in life for that lifestyle. The doctor had hit a nail.

Aunt S. Seng came delivering a shephard's pie for my dinner last evening. Teresia and I finished it to the last bit. Brian will be returning from Jakarta today as he left for that place on Saturday for work and we'll both go visit auntie tomorrow.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cheer in a mail

I thought I won't be blogging for a while as I've nothing crafty to log here until an envelope arrived for me yesterday.

It was something that cheered me up as I was nursing a cold. I swear the mucous disappeared and began breathing very evenly while I was opening up the contents and reading the card from Beehui. She returned from a trip to Myanmar recently and sent me the sweetest looking beaded ribbon I've ever seen and a button made from coconut shell she'd bought from there. The vintage buttons were from her mum who kept them in a biscuit tin and a zip pouch of cute animals to keep me inspired. I was thoroughly thrilled!

Honestly, I can't differentiate between Myanmar and Cambodia. I think it's high time I learn more about Indochina. In her card, Beehui mentioned passing by Aung San Suu Kyi's house where she's kept under arrest. I wonder how it must have felt to be in the midst of such political tension. I promised myself that I'm going to get hold of the autobiography book on this respected freedom fighter, my next trip to a good bookstore or library.

On a different note, I learn that a blogfriend Patty is doing a blogathon. This time she's pledging her cause and raising money for a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso rescue organization. Do check it out and the other charities and provide any support you can give. Many thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Back from Jakarta

Returned to Palembang last evening. It was an overall fruitful trip.

Brian and I spent 3 short days of quality time with friends, Adrian and S. Cheng who planned a vacation in Indonesia. They are now in Jogjakarta and will be heading to Solo later, taking train rides, backpackers' style. Very adventurous "siblings" I have indeed!

On the 7th, we attended a cousin's wedding. It was a buffet reception where guests got to "park" themselves at different tables serving different types of Indonesian dishes. It was a kind of reception I have to get used to because at the end of the day, I had very tired feet from standing around too much!

We also managed to insert a little work above all the leisure. Brian brought me to do a day's tile manufacturing factory tour on Monday. Interesting and quite like stepping into the Discovery channel.

I'll be getting back to crafting soon, hopefully and have something to show here.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Red Cross & a siren

Shortly after we made the shift to Palembang a year ago, Brian started looking out for a vehicle which he could use for our daily transport. Then, he already had a mobile in mind. A VW kombi.

Being a vintage vehicle enthusiast, he's driven a VW Beetle and later a Land Rover Series III Pickup in previous years. As much as I like old cars and had fun traveling in our previous transports, I was never that enthusiastic. I always imagined missing out on the good air-conditioning and music from a radio in a modern car. But it seems I was so conditioned, I get giddy whenever I took rides in new cars! (chuckles)

The search ended when we heard that there was a 1971 kombi for sale in town. It was in relatively good condition and later got sold to us. We raised eyebrows whenever we traveled in it because it was/is (?) an ambulance.

It came originally in its stretchers and compartments for first aid equipments and medicinal drugs. Brian had to have them removed (but stored lovingly elsewhere) and replaced the space in the back with a restored bench originally from a spoil VW van. We often joked how people have supernatural thoughts of the ambulance. Some think it's bad luck to be driving an ambulance for daily rides. I guess we're one weird couple in this traditional town!

To show my support and really, I do love that vehicle, I made two cushion covers for the bench. They each have a red cross on it. I'm sorry I do not remember from whose blog I've seen this idea from a book being featured. There was lady blogger doing a review of the book she bought and had shown a photo of the a similar looking cushion from it. I really like the idea and put it in the back of my mind until I decided to make them. If anyone knows which craft book has a pattern for such a cushion, kindly leave a note in the comment.

My cushions are made of thread, black corduroy and red fabric given to me. There wasn't any pattern I could follow so I made the covers using two long rectangle pieces and sew it into a square cushion covers and attached tiny snap buttons for fastening. I hand appliqued the crosses and machine sew near the edges.

We'll be leaving for Jakarta tomorrow. To attend a relative's wedding on Saturday and our two good friends from Singapore will be coming over to meet us in the city as well!

Hope you have a great weekend ahead! I'm looking forward to mine...

Monday, July 02, 2007

wo(man)'s shirt

Recently, I was very inspired by Melissa's recycling efforts. Her blog post on making baby jackets from recycled materials was so impact-ful I feel I had to do something to balance out the awe. (I really would be buying a lot of her creations should there be a baby in the family!)
Later, I was flipping through a Cotton Friend magazine and came across these pages.

The magazine's theme is about recycling adult clothes into little girls' wear and reconstructing some into different looks for adults. The above shows how a man's long sleeve shirt can be changed into a woman's blouse or a girl's dress.

So I went through the cupboard and found a shirt of Brian's that he no longer wears and changed it into something that I can wear.

I didn't follow the instructions in the magazine. I can't understand any of its illustrations. This reconstructing of Brian's shirt involved removing of pocket and flap of collar. I used my shirt to trace out its shape and sew accordingly. The weird parts are the sleeves where I had to cut and sew top and bottom to reduce its size.

A sewing machine patch was added to the back and a heart shape applique to the base of the front because I accidentally cut the fabric when I snipped off a button where it was originally.

Hope you have a great week ahead!