Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Feeling the blues

It's hard to find good looking and quality socks within my budget. When I saw those stripey socks in a shop sometime back, I had to buy them. Those 4 socks are all turned into toy monkeys now and I'll like to put the three below for sale. I refrain from giving them names. If they have names given by me, I won't have the heart to part with them.

All monkeys have a hat and a tie/scarf each. Both hat and neck warmer can be removed from the monkey. They're made of new socks, polyester stuffing, vintage buttons, fabric for neck warmers and thread.


Should there be a story about these four fellows, I'll like to imagine that they form a jazz band.

When the humans off the lights in the house for the night, a spotlight from nowhere would promptly shine on them. Monkeys put on their outside wear and made their way out to the pub where they work. It's a chilly night out there. Walking together, back slouching against the cold. A blues tune in each mind, dreaming of a music tour around the world.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Me


Sock Monkeys WIP

There are times I wonder the purpose of this blog. I have to remind myself it is an avenue for me to record my crafting and to log my finished makes. However I find it is not easy to not make references to my life while at it. After all, sewing is closely linked to my heart hence my life these days.

I've been reading some of my favorite bloggers' declarations of some random things about themselves. It's always fun to know more about somebody whom I seem to know, thanks to the internet, yet do not really know, real life. I would go, hey, I'm this and that too and feel comforted that I'm not alone in some things which I thought were silly.

I thought it wouldn't come to me but Patty tagged me.

1. I started drinking coffee in the mornings since I was 14. From instant packagings, I've recently changed to brewing on a one-person-worth-of-coffee-maker. It has to be sweetened with milk. If I don't have one, my body will stop for awhile and my mind will go "hang on, wait a minute, something is missing." in the afternoon.

2. While studying for my degree, I gave tuition to a child studying in a Primary School at her home. One vacation, I worked as a cashier/housekeeper in a straight pool saloon with my best friend. I was marking a Primary 4 assessment book one day while the saloon was quiet and a customer across the cashier counter thought I haven't make to PSLE (Primary School Leaving Exams).

3. I played the flute in my secondary school band. When I just entered the Junior College, the school principal threatened to remove me from the school in the her office if I didn't join the college band. I was seeing her about not joining. I stayed on, and yep, you guessed it, I reluctantly put in my time in the band. Now that I think about it, I was such a wimp!

4. I also joined the college school library, to do book shelving duties and to escape my miseries.

5. I only recently divulged no.3 to my father. He was reaaalllyyy mad. He asked why didn't I tell him at that time.

6. I was an angst ridden 17-18er and telling my parents anything was not in the book.

7. When I was 20, I thought age 28 is a good time for marriage. I married in the year I turned 23.

8. I worked in two banks for a short period each time. It took me two times for me to realize that is not an industry for me to be in.

9. I had a knee surgery and during the recovery period, I limped on my way to register my marriage.

10. I like dogs but I'm afraid of them. Especially strays. Living with three, I realized that as humans, we cannot completely fathom another specie's psychology. My three give me lessons on strength, living life and love everyday.

Monday, May 28, 2007

For a friend

A friend's birthday is coming, I just realized yesterday. Had to get a gift done and sent soon as she is in Singapore. Like me, she's born in the year of the monkey and a June baby. So this Sock Monkey is for her.




It's made of new socks, poly stuffing, vintage purple & sequined buttons for its eyes, white linen and purple gingham for its tie, yellow vintage flower button for its behind and thread.

From my last understanding, this friend whom I've had for fourteen years doesn't read my blog so this will still be a surprise, I hope. I thought the serial number on the monkey's back is quite apt for the occasion. B-2007, Birthday-the year 2007.

As I made this toy, I thought of our friendship. Albeit many years, I wasn't there for her many a times. As we walk our own different life paths, we miss each other's many continuing scenes of happiness, joy, fear and pain. Ouch. Miss her.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's not part of the locals' side dishes. :(



When most of the occupants (read: dogs + one man) in the house were napping in the noon and today being a Sunday, I have the opportunity to finish the mushrooms I set out to do and putting them up on brooch pins.

I did a search for a mushroom theme poetry and learn about Emily Dickinson. Interesting story about her. Will find time to read up all on her as the main characters of this house are currently awake and "pestering" me!

Here it goes, the poem:

The Mushroom Is The Elf Of Plants
(Emily Dickinson)

The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants—
At Evening, it is not—
At Morning, in a Truffled Hut
It stop upon a Spot

As if it tarried always
And yet its whole Career
Is shorter than a Snake’s Delay
And fleeter than a Tare—

’Tis Vegetation’s Juggler—
The Germ of Alibi—
Doth like a Bubble antedate
And like a Bubble, hie—

I feel as if the Grass was pleased
To have it intermit—
This surreptitious scion
Of Summer’s circumspect.

Had Nature any supple Face
Or could she one contemn—
Had Nature an Apostate—
That Mushroom—it is Him!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

working on it



After so many months since my resolution, I start my lesson learning Bahasa Indonesia today, alas. Within the first hour, my mind was swirling already with so many words and the methods of sentence construction. I realize the mistakes I've been making since speaking this language and the difference of some words used between formal and informal. Tough but fun.

My teacher (guru saya), I found out through our conversations in english and bahasa Indonesia, of course, is a chinese and speaks mandarin. It's something you can never tell by appearance around here. He and I share the same chinese surname and to my pleasant surprise, is a hainanese descendent as well.

This little discovery makes me think of my dear paternal grandparents and I wonder what were the deciding factors that made Mr David's ancestors chose to migrate here. As a kid, my grandma used to tell me stories of how she came from Hainan Island to Singapore and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them. My memory of her sitting on the rocking chair and me on the floor imagining the ship she was in, in the rough seas. She still looks the same now albeit older and I so hope her knees are not giving her too much pain.

I cut up some fabric from scaps for brooches which I'll be working on the next few days. Till then, I hope you have nice weathers wherever you may be and have warm, cozy memories to think of.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Big Boy's toys

Remember the list? I didn't forget. I need to get the list completed so I can move into sewing other things. I do have some batting left and finally managed to get 4 wraps and pouches done today.

As of last time, I used the same materials. Black needlecord, turquoise cotton, added batting and my last of velcro for fastener.


A camera wrap. We've seen and nearly bought something similar in a camera shop but B didn't want to get it. It was a little too over-priced.

I also did a similar wrap for his singing bowl.


A video camera pouch.

Now, don't go thinking we're either rich (because we're definitely not.) or big spendthrifts (although sometimes I think we are bigtime in this area.). These two gadgets are the company's and under B's "care". Chuckles.. We're at the end of having good fun using them though.


This is his. iPod pouch. He chose the skull badge a long time ago and I finally did get to use it as part of something made for him.

Okay, girls' stuff will be up and continued. How bland it is to be always staring at the colour black.

P.S. Thanks B, for liking the black/turquoise combi!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Grab a drink


One of our regular drinks here. Tehbotol, bottled tea best drank chilled.

and watch some YouTube.

I learn a vocabulary today. Polyandry. If you haven't know what it's about, here's a
video. A practice in the Himalayas. Oh, do look out for the cool albeit dangerous mode of transport across the river.

Also, did a quick search and found this

'Tales from Earthsea' movie trailer


Isn't the song beautiful? I can never tire hearing it, I'm sure. (S. Cheng, if you're reading this, I can't wait our pact of watching this movie together to take place!) It would be great if I could get hold of the Earthsea books.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

starting a collection

Hankies are especially useful when one is in Palembang. Oh, the perspiration, constant hand washing and the BIG HAZE. How I dread those months of bad air! I wasn't using hankies for a long time since the age of eight(?). Tissues are an essential but now a handkerchief and a pack of wet wipes are with me whenever I'm out in this town.



I was pleased to find these thin cartoon printed hankies yesterday. I won't be using them of course! I just can't resist not buying them. I find the old school prints like this



very appealing.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

superheroes



I like superheroes, Japanese manga types. Astro Boy was one of them. My interest in this character was evidenced only in a watch with Astro smiling on the face and a comic style canvas bag. I had never watch a single episode of the animation. Can you believe it? The crush is long gone now.

The canvas bag which the zip spoil, was recently cut up, washed and sun. I made 6 zip pouches from the canvas and added turquoise cotton for lining.

Cartoon superheroes somehow help soothe the minds of people who witness or experience injustice in real life, don't they?

Another of my favourite anime is Anpanman and his friends. Bread Hero in pastry land. What can go wrong?

A heroic weekend to you!

Friday, May 18, 2007

"Write a list."

That's what I had been telling Brian when he asked me for some pouches, a few weeks back. I didn't dare to start making without knowing the number of wire cables and charges he had in mind for. When he came back with a nice yardage of black corduroy yesterday, I knew I can't put off his requests any longer.

I found this list on the table this afternoon when I came home.

A lot of work, huh?


These four money bag style pouches are what I can manage today. They're made of black corduroy, turquoise cotton and shoe/pillow case lace.

I've to check my leftover "stock" of batting for his camera and singing bowl wraps.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

overcast day



It rained in the morning and has been overcast the whole day. Saw those pretty flowers on the neighbour's fence before the walk. Everything looks fresh and delightful after a shower of rain, doesn't it?

Our morning walk was shortened because of the drizzle and the dogs are so hyped up! Cats in our compound teasing them once in a while and them, staring through the window, barking away.


Bag: patterned fabric, brown cord, turquoise cotton lining & pocket, a grainy vintage button

I meant to make another pouffe bag but lethargy overcame. Maybe it's the weather. Nice weather. Maybe going out and taking in the rare cool air is a better idea.

Monday, May 14, 2007

toile~t

I can't help it. The 'T' just has to be there. Chuckles..

On odd weekdays, I'll go to the office. I'm not officially working but helping out with administrative work. It will be days when I'm staring into the software Excel which is a good thing. I have to learn new things and this will publicize my ignorance but indeed, I'm still grappling with the components(?) of Excel.

If time permits, I will be ferried back after lunch (because someone needs to prepare dinner). Eating in is a big effort as well. I'm still trying and learning.

On days like this, I like to put in time in the noon for simpler projects like making zip purses.

Toile fabric I got from Spotlight in Singapore. I used my fave trimming. I think I don't have non-fave trimming. Pardon me.


Probably can't tell, this purse is made from attaching 3 separate pieces on each side.


Purple gingham checks for lining.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

put down to earth



A somersaulting chimpanzee toy bought on the street a few days ago. It was bought for yours truly by Brian. I played with it a few times and yep, I'm a big, BIG kid. I like toys like this. Plastic and winding.

Slowly, I'm getting back the rhythm of living in Palembang. All things well aside, I think this place is one huge sauna facility. There's never a day I wasn't perspiring real bad. Staying in an air-con room most of the day is a soothing idea but nope, I got to get moving.




and so, the rubber tyre of Brian's VW bus got flat along a rather busy road. Never experienced such a thing. City dwellers. The roads are so forgiving back home. Because of 2 old stubborn knobs that refused to budge, he couldn't change it. "Rescue knights" came in the form of 3 tanned electrician and carpenters, father's employees. I'm thinking what situations can they not handle. Later, we went orh~ing and aahing on the technique they used to get the knobs out.




On crafting side, a bag, I decide to call it Pouffe, made two days ago. I'll have to try to fit in time for sewing and will like to make more of pouffes. It's a pattern from magazine Cotton Friend Vol 21. The bag is made of fabric that has some interesting thread bits and the lining is recycled green cotton. There's a lined pocket and I used a big yellow vintage button.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back


That's Gioia.

Finally, we're back. Although foreign, it's where my heart is at the moment. Where our lives are of purposes and productivity, again, I hope.

We returned with new sets of rules for our dogs and that naturally require us being disciplined as well. Waking up early for walks 15 mins' drive away from home is a big challenge for me. We started the walks this morning and I hope to be determined to carry this out most days of every week. Exercise, discipline then affection. Tips I'm gathering from a book I'm currently reading.

Mickey and Gioia now sport very unfashionable fur-do. I'm looking forward to the weekend when Brian will help take a load of fur off their bodies.

I'm so glad to be back, to them.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Late Morning




It's a big deal to me whenever I plan to go to the beach. Living in the Western part, it takes close to an hour's drive to get to East Coast Park. Why are the all beaches in the East? I'm not a morning person. We arrived at the beach (I have to mention we detoured to borrow our vehicle at somewhere else and faced a traffic jam on the expressway) in the late morning and had the hot sun greeting us.

Dear Sun didn't kill my joy in having the breeze in my hair and sounds of waves in my ears though. It's been some time.



(Okay, it's kitsch. He calls them "China Vans". Me, "Lau Bei Bei" shoes. The shoe-shop lady in the market was puzzled when we bought them, usually meant for elderly male folks. Each of us have two pairs of different colours now. They're really comfortable to walk around in.)