Wednesday, December 31, 2008

bye 2008


A faulty festive trumpet made of recycled materials,
bought from a roadside vendor.



Happy New Year.
May peace and happiness be with everyone.





Tuesday, December 30, 2008

hainan chicken rice pursuit


I recalled a Hainan chicken rice stall in Chinatown, Palembang when I was exploring the area, sometime way before Kaeden is born. In the day, Chinatown here is really a busy area with old shophouses, retailers of a variety of goods and necessities like school uniforms, electrical and plastic products and large vehicles on the roads loading off goods into the shops. This morning, we took a ride to Chinatown or Sayangan, or so it's called here in Palembang, in search for the coffeeshop where the chicken rice stall is.



We have a passion for this chicken rice dish, especially since my paternal grandparents are from Hainan island and my grandma can whip up a mean steam chicken rice and her chilli dip condiment is, what can I say.. power?


We bought one packet of roasted chicken with rice from the elderly seller. It's a little different from what we're used to at home, still this beats not having it at all.

Monday, December 29, 2008

snippets


My favourite chocolate. I don't think this bar will survive my mental rationing plan. Bought from the Jakarta trip, I'll have to wait until I go back to the lion city to get more, happily, in a small number of weeks' time.

Also,

Brian's having the holidays. No work til the new year. He's got some time getting a photo blog up: bO

Saturday, December 27, 2008

a new look


Before, my sewing table was against the wall with the windows and I felt the space was a little drab and non inspirational. Bought some batik to cover the table, plastic cupboard and storage boxes, did some shifting around and now, my work space looks (a bit more) brighter. It does make me want to enter the room more often than before.



I also have a new paper basket which my craft books and magazines are resting. They are now so much more accessible as compared to when they used to hide in my table's compartment.

Okay, the exterior looks pleasing. So when do I get to the part of clearing the drawers? .....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

give a pencil



There was an evening when we stopped by a mini mart to get ice cream on the way home. After the quick purchase, we rode off in the car and stopped for red light at the nearby cross junction. Two children beggars around ages of 3 to 6 years came up to our car and looked into my window. Kaeden was on my lap and I looked down at him, feeling so heartbroken. my teeth biting my lips. Brian told me he bought extra ice-cream sticks and passed two over to the children. They happily received them and moved on. Not long after, some other children rushed up to Brian's side of window. At that point, the traffic light turned green and we had to go. We had to wave the children away. I didn't realize until then there were that many children beggars on the street.

What are those parents thinking? Young children on the streets, nope, roads. with big vehicles. begging. It wasn't my first encounter having beggars coming towards me whenever I'm in the car. I never give money. My reason is simple. Syndicates. The works of gangster syndicates. No way would I want to give money in order to encourage those children or them being used or manipulated, to continue begging. I remember reading Amanda's post about this issue. It has always been at the back of my mind.

Yet if I don't help these people on the streets, I don't feel good. I feel that I'm not making a difference.

Today, when I'm out again, I talked to Brian about this issue in the ride. I came up with an idea about giving each child beggar who comes up to us, a pencil or any other stationery. Initially,I thought about giving sweets but heck, who's going to bring them to the dentist? so nope, no sweets. Brian thought of attaching a card with a message that says something like "stay off the street" with each giveaway. Will that message get through?

Giving pencils will be it for now. Pencils will be fixtures in the car. Until there's a better plan.

How about adult beggars? The elderly and the disabled. How do I help them? Should I just give whatever amount I could afford? This is something else I have to think about altogether.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

another porridge


My days are pretty much the same. Mostly spent indoors, looking after the wee one. I really need to look into my lack of social scene and that also makes me worry about Kaeden's socialization skills too. that is if he's developing it. He smiles readily at almost everyone but that happens also when he's clinging onto me. He's now at the stage of experiencing stranger anxiety, not willing for anyone else except me or his dad to carry him outside the safe haven of home.



Of course, another recipe to note down again. I'm no cook. I just like to keep a favourite food of my loved one noted here so I can refer in the future. This dish is brown rice porridge with salmon, green peas and wolfberries. I'll like to feed Kaeden threadfin and cod. However I don't see them for sale here in supermarkets. They will have to wait until we're in Singapore. Kaeden is also not too fond of minced pork so most days when porridge is cooked, it'll usually be with whitebait or salmon and vegetables. Now that he has four pearlies, I don't really bother with mashing up his food too much too.

K's fave brown rice porridge
(2 baby portions)

Ingredients:
2 tbspn brown rice
+/- 400gm water
+/- 30gm skinless salmon fillet
2 tbspn frozen green peas
a few dried wolfberries
2 tspn light soy sauce

Method:
Soak clean brown rice into a pot of water for 2 hours. After which, boil the rice + water combo in the pot then simmer for 15 min. Meanwhile, marinate salmon with light soy sauce.
Add the fish into the cooking porridge and simmer for 10 min.
Add the peas and dried wolfberries and simmer for another 15 min.
Stir the contents and mash them until the desired texture.
(May add a little bit of hot water if porridge is a little dry at this stage if neccessary.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

thinking of family


It's no secret owls are one of my favourite animals. The other day when I was surfing through some craft blogs that I like to read, I saw this post and felt geared to make something similar. So from there, I drew out a pattern for my owl and instead of twigs, I used a pencil. and you know how it is when you need to have it sharpened, you just can't find that sharpener? So the idea of having a sharpener attached grew when I was shopping for those triangular pencils.



These four owl pencil+sharpener holders will be going to Kaeden's cousins who are all of schooling age. It's the festive season and that makes me fall into the giving mood. It's also a time when I think of my family back in Singapore more. This morning I received an sms from my mum. a little chinese winter solstice poem. I haven't really read it as I was rushing off to a baby event that we participated Kaeden in. I should get to reading the poem after this. I'm reminded that there will be a gathering at my maternal grandma's place, my mum told me in a phone call earlier. My two grandmothers haven't been doing really well and there are more phone calls to home these days.

If you're celebrating, take more tang yuans. Those sesame filling ones are yummy.
Happy winter solstice!

Friday, December 19, 2008

two button holes


I seem to almost always see the need to make a sort of a covering for a new gadget that I have. So today I managed to get a pouch done for my camera. Foreseeing that the camera will see its time in my big diaper bag for outings, I'd better let it have a bag before it gets "thrown" into my humongous one.

It took me awhile to chain stitch after pencil outlining the sketch of the Nikon D60 on canvas. Stealing every opportunity to get to the needle and thread whenever I was able to. After which, I sew the canvas with wide green check cotton and attached two black buttons for fastening. Oh, I used the button hole function of my sewing machine after such a long time of not using it. I thought it'd be a boo-boo but it turned out alright, still it could be better. So much for button holes...

Here's how the pouch looks like with the camera in..


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

apples and a pear


I was commissioned by Brian to sew up three monitor covers for the Mac computers used by the design team in his office. Above is one of them. The covers are made of felt appliques, cotton canvas and white cotton for lining.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

working on canvas

Work in progress:

1.


computer monitor covers


2.


my new camera pouch

Sunday, December 07, 2008

for the first time

Some first time(s) took place today.


A walk around the neighbourhood this morning with the baby in tow. The time was around 8 plus-ish and wasn't too hot yet and there was heavy rain last night so it was cooling for us to explore the area with Kaeden.




Our doggies just had their bath and Mickey had some indoor time after that. Kaeden got his first sniff and licks on the face from Mickey.



Brian's first attempt on ending the lives of two crabs for our lunch. We had them steamed with ginger slices and drizzle of chinese wine, along with corn and chicken chunks soup and rice. Home cook lunch, something we should do more often.

Friday, December 05, 2008

plm - jkt - plm

(view from the hotel room's window; Jakarta; cloudy grey)

On Monday, the family of three of us went to Jakarta and only returned yesterday. We scheduled the trip for the purpose of getting Kaeden's pneumo- vaccine and since it's the city, enjoy rounds of window shopping and good food. Unfortunately, we could not get hold of the vaccine and I came to realize that the product is relatively new and is not readily available yet even in the capital of Indonesia. But we did have a good time shopping mall hopping and got to satisfy some of our cravings for our favourite cuisine.

I even have a new pair of sanuk footwear.



A product the company claims isn't a pair of shoes. As a daily Birk sandal wearer, this pair makes me feel like I'm wearing bedroom slippers out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

black & white YUM!


Double chocolate chunk cookies baked yesterday, thanks to our neighbour/auntie's mixer and oven. A recipe found here inspired me. Because of lots of chocolates in the dough, I panicked when the cookies melt and didn't hold its shape when in the hot oven. Nevertheless, it's really tasty and I had to remind myself to go easy on them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

mark the day


It used to be only the two of us and on this day for the past few years, it would be an excuse for nice dinners and gift exchanging. To Brian, it bothers him that he has to remember the dates for registering of our marriage and the actual wedding day. Anniversaries might be overrated. As for me, they remind me of the feelings I've had on the actual days, the sounds I'd heard and the sights I could recall. Anniversaries mark how far we have come along.

"Happy wedding day anniversary, darling."


"Thank you for the sweet surprise of lilies."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

of skulls & crossbones


A pair of shoes I made for Kaeden today. It's made of fabric from recycled orange 'skull and crossbones' t-shirt of mine and brown corduroy. I did not have a pattern so I wing it by tracing K's feet on a drawing paper and estimated the size of the heel and top of the shoes. Before venturing on this project, I did a search for instructions on the internet and found a video on it. The difference I made to the shoes as compared to the instructions was I kept the seams in between the two fabric pieces for the sole when attaching the shoe body to the sole. I find that as the most difficult part of the making process.

Friday, November 07, 2008

K's porridge


These days, Kaeden's daily diet consists of porridge or cereal and a little fruit besides breastmilk. I like to feed him rice porridge cooked with vegetables and minced meat or fish on alternate days. Usually each time I cook, the quantity is about 2 baby portions so I'll keep one portion in a thermal pot to keep warm for K's dinner.

One of the porridge recipe which I think K has taken a liking for is the cauliflower + whitebait rice porridge. I find that the whitebaits sold here tend to be salty so I'd have to rinse a few times and soak them to remove the salt before using them.

Ingredients:

1 tbspn rice
+/- 400ml water
1 tbspn whitebait
1 handful cauliflower, florets only
1/2 tspn light soy sauce (optional)

Method:

In a pot, soak the raw rice in water for 2 hours.
Put the pot of rice+water to boil and then lower the fire to simmer the contents for 10 min.
While it's simmering, chop the whitebait finely and marinade with soy sauce.
Chop the cauliflower finely.
Add in the chopped whitebait into the cooking porridge, simmer for 10 min.
Add in the cauliflower, simmer for another 10 min.
After which, use the back of a ladle and mash the contents till the desired texture.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

starting a collection


A collection, beginning with two. I mentioned I plan to collect vintage brooches, only I haven't decide on what sorts. Should it be just owl theme or generally anything that takes my fancy? Yesterday, my second owl brooch arrived in the post. (I post about my first brooch here.) It's also an Avon piece which doubled up as a solid perfume holder then circa 70's.

rice cooker cake


We've had our rice cooker for a few years and although it hasn't spoil, we decided to buy a new one since rice is our main staple. After tasting the first batch of rice made by our brand new rice cooker, Brian commented that the the previous one made rice that tasted "dead".

I was hyped up about the cooker's 'cake' function and couldn't wait to try it out. The manual is written in rather puzzling grammar and the choice of vocabulary, pretty amusing.



Raw materials for ingredients.. and 'The cake made will be soft, loose and elastic.' ?

Nevertheless, a cake did turn out after I deciphered the instructions.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

we 'heart' winding toys



Whenever I wanted Kaeden to sit, he would try and shortly after flop down to his side, roll over to his favourite position which is on the tummy and then creep away. So today I tried to entice him to stay longer on his sitting position by putting some winding toys in front of him. It did work and he was even encouraged to grab the moving toys.


Friday, October 31, 2008

for his DS lite



Brian has been asking for a pouch for his handheld game console. So I made one today for his Nintendo DS Lite which is something he likes to challenge himself to after a hardworking daytime.

I chained stitched the console's logo on plain canvas and sew it together with black corduroy and recycled green cotton and added a vintage button and lace for fastening. It was a quick to make project while little Kaeden was napping on a rainy afternoon.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

a loose smock


In the mood for making a blouse, I dig out a craft book of mine,


flipped through its pages and decided to make a smock. I wanted to make this a long time ago, well, that was before I was pregnant. The smock is made of yellow linen and stripey light beige cotton. Before starting out, I took "estimated" measurements of myself and as I was making the top, I was hoping it won't turn out too small. Who knew, the end result was it is a tad too big for me around the armholes. Perhaps, its size would have been better for my pregnant days..


Thursday, October 02, 2008

owl purses + balls

Over the week I'd been desperately trying to upload my photos up on the internet. But the connection was and still is terribly weak. It got to the stage where I could not even e-mail. It's really maddening when the price we pay simply did not match the quality of service, not only in this matter. Frustration led to complains to beguiling acceptance.

Now, I'm in Brian's office, using its network on a public holiday.

The past days, I'd sewn these owl purses.






They will be going to a shop in Dayton, Ohio.

After the owl purse project, I made two fabric balls for Kaeden.



The pattern, kindly provided by Melissa.



Thursday, September 18, 2008

of trims and sewing tools


I have a weakness for trims. Whenever I'm at the sewing supplies shop, my eyes would involuntarily look at them even though I would be at the shop for other reasons like thread or zip purchasing. There is something about the colours and patterns of these fabric trims that mesmerize me.

I found a way to work with the trims I have for a while. Sewn together, they form into fabric pieces which I made into a zip pouch. I'll be using it to hold my essential sewing tools.

This weekend, I plan to visit the supplies shop for some zips.. and perhaps, some trims..

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday

At the earlier part of today,

laundry was done,
Kaeden had his first nibble of a milk biscuit
and a story of 'Red Riding Hood' was read.



Also, a batch of owl zip purses made over the week, completed.



They are available for sale in my online shop now.

It had been a stressful weekend, with me recovering from a cold that had passed around in this household. I hope the virus ends with me and that cheery days are ahead this week.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

something postnatal




After reading a favourite blog-friend's post , I got to know about this site, Polyvore. So here's a collage of what I would love to don and collect. Message T's, smock tops, flower hair pins of various materials, vintage brooches.. and I decided I should make an effort to put on skirts more often. I can't wait to celebrate the day I get my pre-pregnancy figure back.