Thursday, October 29, 2009

thursday update

and so the embroidery are now zip cases. Available for sale here.
I spent some time updating my shop today.

Monday, October 26, 2009


goldfishes, originally uploaded by table calender.

goldfishes, originally uploaded by table calender.

When Brian saw my draft for this embroidery on linen, he made a show of his inadequacy in reading those chinese words. He asked me why I'm having those words embroidered, I made a feeble attempt of singing him a song that I heard when I was young-er, reciting the chorus etched in my mind. He said it was stupid. How uncool, that must be his thought. I know. I'm his wife.

He may not know, he's creating an impression and putting up a front that he's just not interested in anything related to the chinese culture. As a mother, I'm determined to bring up Kaeden to be bi-lingual and at most, moderately adept at reading and writing both languages. Admittedly, I've not been consistent in speaking mandarin to Kaeden. Looks like I've to put two feet down and it'll be a lonely voyage.

and yes,
I'm getting back at him.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

batik mat

A floor mat for the main door to my home. Machine sewed quilt patches of recycled batik shirts and a new towel for the mat's backing, an idea stolen from here.

Do you like batik? I appreciate its intricate work involved to make them but the designs never truly appeal to me. yet.

Friday, October 23, 2009

complain (i) :: Power Outage

From my draft on paper, written yesterday.



Power trips, one of its many occurrences in Palembang is taking place now as I'm writing. This power outage I'm experiencing right now started since the middle of last night (12am-ish?). I'd fallen asleep and by the time I woke up because of the heat, I realized it was 2am. Kaeden was whining every once in awhile in his sleep for he is used to the comfortable air the air conditioning supplies to us every night.

It was a restless night but I was too groggy to have any emotions for the lack of electricity. Brian was pissed off though. He had to fan us every time Kaeden whined.

Electricity came in the early morning, around 5am. We thought we could sleep well until morning breaks. But it went off again after a short half hour.

What the heck is going on?

After the Indonesian Presidential election, electrical outages have been frequent. Yes, like randomly up to 3 times a week. There were lucky weeks when life is comfortable. But when one blackout happens, I'll have to be prepared for the inconveniences it brings for up to 6 hours.

It has been what, 10 hours already? How long more it will go on?

We're lucky to be able to afford a generator set. One within our budget, good to get the lights on and fans working but not enough for the water pump, rice cooker and refrigerator (I'm concerned about its contents spoiling right now.) We also have a reserve water tank for if the pump, running on electricity doesn't work, we still get a light flow of water coming through the taps. some taps.

Every time when a power trip happens, I get sweaty and uptight for I'm heavily reliant on the fans to keep cool. This rental house we're living in has permanently shut windows to keep out mosquitoes. Very rarely, I feel calm and unbothered when I don't have a constant breeze coming my way in this hot humid weather. How do the local Indonesians feel when they're in such a situation? Maybe blackouts do not affect the poor much as I'd imagine they do not get accustomed to comforts like having fans on all the time. But what about the middle income lot's take on this? Probably helpless they are.

At this point, there probably might be a genuine fault at the power supply station. But I've been through many power trips to not spare the company any credit, or benefit of doubt so to say. The reasons for such frequent power trips as Brian had explained to me, can be easily summed up in a 'c' word.

I'm a Singaporean and Singaporeans are known to be a complain lot among ourselves. Mostly banter to get out of our systems and maybe some taking actions like penning letters to the authorities and media. For life has to go on and after a tiring workday to keep life going, who has the capacity, strength and reserve to fight long battles with the system one is against?

I'm writing a complaint. One of many which I'll likely put up, something I refrain from doing in this blog. So as to keep my views in perspective and if one day, I need to make a pivotal decision for my family and my future, I have these perspectives in mind, my feelings checked and the combination of both, grounded.


The electricity came back at 2pm. Went off again at 5pm and returned about an hour later.
This morning, power outage at 9am and came back after an hour and half.

Monday, October 19, 2009

for the tiny back

From one of my parents' trip to China, they brought back a cushion filled with dried tea leaves for Kaeden. I'd kept it away since I found the aroma from it too overpowering at that time when the kid was still a newborn. Upon discovering it today, I decided to make a cotton cover for the cushion as the original is silk and frays easily and have it made into a chair cushion for the toddler. The scent from the cushion is certainly less strong now.

The fabric I used to make the cover is inherited from Brian's mum who had some leftover stash of fabric. The one used must be part of fabric being used to make my father-in-law's boxer shorts or pyjamas, I'd imagine. Those days when adult male underwear and pyjamas were handmade.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

small threaded owl

I'd put off the thought of picking up embroidery before until recently I caved in. It's a pretty low-er cost hobby come to think of it (as compared to the others I've been into, *cough*). Bought the book 'Doodle-Stitching' off Amazon and two oval hoops (3"x5" and 5"x9") from etsy, rummaged through a box of leftover embroidery floss, cut up an old linen pants for its fabric, picked up a needle with a scissors nearby and , voila to my surprise I can finish a small project in some hours.

But I haven't figure out what I'm going to do with the finished embroidery projects . Probably keep them around my table and adopt the "hm, what will you be?" pose whenever.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

wall adornment

When visiting my girlfriend, Christie's new place in Singapore, I saw a cute handmade quilt which she uses as a floor mat. She told me it's made by her husband Andrei's grandma. The quilt's design is of rectangle fabric pieces joined together and I noticed some retro child prints in it. So inspired, I cut up some old clothing and made my own, a different version to it though. I had a stash of old clothing which I couldn't bear to donate and chose three. Brian's worn thin long sleeved shirt, a handmade blouse which didn't work out and a dress which I obviously couldn't wear anymore and one that held some nice memories.

I used this quilt to cover up a patch of wall that has some sticky tape which refused to be removed. A rather unsightly patch of wall that finally got covered up.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

a vw variant

Our new (old) car (a vw type 3 variant with sliding roof!) arrived in Palembang to us on Tuesday night, travelling a distance from Jakarta. But it can't be our daily ride yet because it needs improvement. Like installing air conditioning and tyres changed and window film put up. Pretty happy to have this car now that we don't have to compromise any car seat for Kaeden's stroller. Love the roomy car interior.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

combating loneliness :: disaster escape plan

Kaeden's lantern from his daddy. He didn't get the idea of holding it and walk around. It was Brian who did the lantern carrying. I wasn't used to taking night shots and most photos turned out blurry on that night with our friends at a park near my parents'. We had a family gathering with my mum's side on mid Autumn the night before we flew back to Palembang, on Sunday morning. It's been months since I've met my relatives. Kaeden looked like he had fun running around the house, socializing with them. I enjoyed auntie's home cooked dishes and the cozy feeling.

The next day when I was here, I'd to nurse some heart aches, self pitying my loneliness when Brian gets back to work and Ah Kwan is on leave from work for X days. But okay, I think I'm picking up now that today is day three. I have to convince myself there are plus sides to how the day moves so slowly although at this point, I can't do much about how our Tuesdays are about the same as Thursdays.

After the quake at Padang recently and reading the tragic news put me on the alert mode and for the first time, I took action and decided to put together a bag containing our passports (which used to be under lock and key), some documents, a credit card, first aid and bottled water. I'll be adding stuff, probably a torch and some cash. I felt uneasy being back here and having the bag and imagining the shortest escape route in the house only have me feeling slightly relieved.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

illustration & a winner!

Quentin Blake is definitely my all time favourite illustrator. When I think of some of Roald Dahl's stories, Quentin's drawings come to mind. Anyway, I was in the library yesterday. It's a spirit lifting place, well, at least for me. I just can't help a smile forming when I stepped into it. I chanced upon this book, 'Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy' by Michael Rosen - Quentin Blake and I just have to borrow it. Seems to me Kaeden enjoyed the book when I started reading to him last night.

It's Children's Day today. Have good fun, you young ones out there!


Thanks to all who have left comments. It's nice to "meet" new people. I'm thrilled that people do like the purse.

I gave some thought to how I should pick the winner to my barn owl purse. Finally, I asked my mum who buys lottery tickets to pick a number for me, any number from 1 to 13. She chose 5 for that's the storey of her flat apartment and also where we're putting up now. Totally irrelevant and questionably fair.

That makes the new owner to be Melissa of Miso Crafty! I'll be asking for your mailing address in awhile.