Sunday, December 27, 2009

tidied threads

embroidery box

tidied threads

Maybe it's because of the year's coming close to an end, there is an in-built mechanism in me wanting things tidied up for a new year for a fresh beginning. So for a tiny start, I got my paper box of threads tidied up by wounding some loose threads over cardboard fifi tags that didn't work out, then put them together with some new threads into a box which once held things I wanted stored and no need for. I also add a new pin cushion for needles. The box is ideal for putting my small work in progress and the embroidery box can now follow me in my favourite spots of the house without having me to get up and replace threads on my table when I'm working on something.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

holiday gifts

As practitioners of Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism, my family doesn't celebrate Christmas but the three families surrounding us do. To show our appreciation for these families for looking out for us, I prepared some gifts (clothing, jars of poster colours, wooden necklace) for the children and baked this cake for the adults. I started baking this morning and had the idea of using new kitchen linen which I washed last evening to wrap around the cakes. But I'd to use parchment paper first. You might find the kitchen linen familiar.

Brian's off from work workplace is closed BUT he'll be back very now and then until the new year. I'm looking forward to lots of pleased to be having more quality family time.
Happy holidays.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


apple brooches

apple raisin cinnamon cake

my cake and coffee

The forgotten thought of getting breakfast for today made me think on the feet and I decided to bake a cake last evening, knowing I have some apples in the refrigerator, hence an apple raisins cinnamon cake. I like baking at night, when the weather is cooler and I can take my time without distractions from Kaeden as Brian takes over the babysitting. I particularly love the calm and homely feeling emitted by nice cinnamon smell wafting out from the oven to the whole house. The recipe is really my own, sourcing the available ingredients in my pantry and fridge at that moment. The other nice factor of baking at night is that the cake can cool overnight on the table and ready to be eaten for breakfast the next day. Of course I didn't wait. The cake was moist and warm and good with cold milk. If only there is vanilla ice cream in the freezer!

I made two apple brooches this morning. Simple appliques. I suppose they make good stand by present top ups.



Apple Raisins Cinnamon Cake


230g self-raising flour
150g granulated sugar
1tsp cinnamon powder
1/2tsp nutmeg powder
1/4tsp salt

150g unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1tsp vanilla essence
3/4cup milk

1 large apple, coarsely chopped
1tbsp raisins


Pre-heat oven (180 deg cel).
Mix flour,sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg powder and salt in a large bowl. Set it aside.
Combine butter, egg, vanilla essence in another bowl. Add chopped apple bits and raisins into the wet ingredients and mix.
Pour the apple mixture into the first bowl of dry ingredients and mix well with a spatula, slowly adding milk into it when mixing.
After which, pour into a non-stick baking pan. (I used a 9.25x5.25x2.75 inch but a smaller 9inch should suffice.)
Bake for 60min.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Frank and breadfruit

conman frank



It was a difficult process making conman Frank. My first attempt at making a doll of humanly features, alright, wacky humanly features and I'm just not happy with everything. He had had ears which looked awful. Before he had hands, I'd wanted to rip him apart. He would survive on the condition that Brian take him and leave at his office, just so I won't see him. Frank had been sitting around idly over the weekend, with me thinking that there is something just not right about him. Finally, I lopped off his ears and gave him a surgery and new hands today. He's a gift to his saviour who by the way, named him.



fried breadfruit

Have you had breadfruit before? It's not often I eat it. Brian just brought one back yesterday from his father's warehouse. There is a breadfruit tree growing there and from what I hear, bears fruits when the season turns wet. It may look deceiving but it tastes alright when fried dipped into condensed milk, especially when cut in chunks, it feels like biting into fried bread. Not the healthiest breakfast but a gratifying one.

Friday, December 18, 2009

red doily


doily with owls perched

The past days of absence from doing anything substantial was because of me having to recover from a pretty bad gastric attack. It was the second time I've had such pain and the first time I'd suffered from gastric was when I was a new mother. I wonder why. I learn from these two or probably three episodes is that I shouldn't let myself get too stressed and tired out and I do think that Kaeden resting on me for long periods of time is a factor too. I supposed this time was brought on by that trip. On the early Thursday morning (1 am- ish) when the pain got unbearable, Brian drove me, with Kaeden in tow, to the hospital for a jab despite the fact I'd seen the doctor in the evening and taken my medicine before I slept. Quite an experience for the three of us, that car ride was. The car not stopping once on the road and seeing some characters and even children roaming on the streets in that owly night.

Whenever I can get a moment, I thought of crafting and doilies have been in my mind. I've a small stash of handiwork by Brian's mummy during the time when such a hobby was popular. A red small oval doily has always been my favourite and secret hoard. I finally took it out today and hang it up using my oval hoop. I first saw the idea here. Then I perched my owl brooches up there. Three of my favourite things, otherwise under storage finally get to see some light.

Monday, December 14, 2009

6 days in Java

Last week, we met up with my parents in Jakarta and from there, we spent time together in Bandung, a car ride in Puncak and finally a few short days in Jakarta city. The photos below are what I thought were the highlights of the trip.

Mount Tangkuban Perahu

Mount TangkuBan Perahu

Mount Tangkuban Perahu
checking out the crater and stalls of souvenirs by the slope; sniffing in sulphur

soaking in a hotspring

Ciatur Hot Spring
paddling around in a small pool of water (35 deg cel)

by the waterfall

Kampung Daun
lunch in one of the huts by the slope of waterfalls

watching nearby

De Ranch
getting up close to a pair of horses

picking the ripe ones


Rumah Stroberi
picking out strawberries; a snack of pancakes with ice cream and strawberries

carrot peddler

buying some carrots from a peddler on the way to Taman Safari

feeding a zebra

a family of deers

getting really close to the animals (zebras, deers, elephants, camels, llamas etc) and feeding them carrots. I thought this was the best part of the whole trip and also Kaeden's first close contact with animals like these.


and definitely shopping for clothing in Bandung where there are many factory outlets and clothing of reasonable pricing.

In Jakarta, we had some good meals of Chinese and Japanese food although I was put off by the traffic jams we were constantly in. Overall this trip was fulfilling, revisiting some places and an eye opener for the new ones, appreciating the natural sights and getting close to animals. But it was truly exhausting! As Kaeden refused to be apart from either me or Brian, the babysitting and having him on our laps/arms all the time, and dealing with mealtime tantrums amount to the body ache I'm nursing now.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

picking then packing

breakfast today


Initially I planned to pick a winner for my giveaway after breakfast but decided to let it run a little longer. After lunch and Kaeden's napping, I got to the task of finding out who is having the purse. It'll be going to Carmel ( picking). Only if finances allow, everyone would be getting a little something. I wish I could distribute chocolates to whoever visits me in this blog space.

A few days ago on the hunt for some new toys as distractions for the vacation we'll be taking tomorrow, I wiped clean of the handkerchief section of the shopping mall, off its sale of floral and embroidered ones. I think if I wait out a bit longer and shop at the same place again, there might be some new ones displayed.

right, I'm off to pack and will be back in a week's time. I'll be checking my e-mails via Brian's mobile phone.

Friday, December 04, 2009

looking up, down & out

looking up

looking down

looking out

Some mornings Kaeden and I love to hang out around the front porch of our place. After breakfast and Kaeden still in his pyjamas. We used to walk around the area outside but these days we prefer to just sit by our "pond", check on the tricycle and walk in circles around. It helps eliminate the feeling of being coup up indoors all day.

barn owl purse

Here's a barn owl purse (my latest owl pattern) completed for Kaeden's cousin in Singapore. A very belated birthday present. She is going to start the year in a new Secondary school next year. All grown up.


I feel compelled to share about this new magazine, Extra Curricular in the market, after reading my favourite blog and knowing that Melissa's featured in there. I'm always curious about other people's business. I do like to read biographies. What more discovering new crafty people in magazines? I'll to have to get one copy.


Even more unrelated:

I'm rediscovering Chibi Maruko-chan on tv. The wacky faces of her classmates always have me baffled. and I'm excited about a new cartoon series about to show on Cartoon Network here. Chowder in Marzipan city.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

add on

bear keychain

Kaeden likes bears among other things. Maybe not the animal yet, but more like its non-living affiliates. He has a Bedtime Care Bear, a teddy bear harness with a tail leash, his choice of toothbrush in a plastic bear holder and er-hm, bear shaped biscuits. I made this keychain for him to add on to his possessions.

As mentioned before I 'd camera woes and Brian had the "monster" camera with him, I took a photo of this bear keychain made earlier using my mobile phone. We have a vacation lined up for next week and I'm thinking and starting on filling up two bags of surprises for my little one for the trip. Why two? One for the carry-on and one for the luggage to take. The keychain will be one of the stuffers. The trip to Bandung will take an hour of air ride and then about three hours of car ride, that's one way. Kaeden definitely needs aplenty of distractions and so the bags of surprises (a new stack of picture books and possibly new small toys and definitely some handmade of recyclables). Essentially little presents for him, are important - for my sanity.

The bear keychain is made of the old T (used here), stuffing and small pieces of felt. I found a box of fabric markers the other day and had a go at using it. Attached are a pair of old keys (remembering to wash the metal ring and keys) which didn't belong anywhere.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

friendship bag

friendship bag

friendship bag

There were some years when I'd meet my two closest girlfriends, we'd exchange gifts to mark the end of that particular year. It wasn't even arranged, it just would happen that each one of us would prepare something for the other. Some other times, one would give me a little something; soap; a treat, just because. Irregardless of the time of the year or of no special reason. In the spirit of that, I made this bag (made of a part of a vintage new old stock pillow case, lined with some thick bluish fabric) for this oldest known friend of mine. To mark this year and the total number of years of our friendship.