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.