Monday, August 31, 2009

凯 腾 的 新 (旧) 书



My father is here to visit. Along with some new chinese books for young readers he'd brought, there are also a few second hand ones. I like old books.
From two books of 3 short stories each, I'm particularly fond of these illustrations.




Thursday, August 27, 2009

all labelled up






Got my printed fifi labels, made of cardboard (i'm sure of recycled materials!) and finally able to pack up my handmade (10) owl eyeglass cases and (10) owl zip purses together with them to be sent out to

Doinky Doodles Shop
33 Bali Lane
(2nd floor)
Singapore

today and also in the post, my swap parcel is going out.

Think I can kick back and relax for awhile.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

tutorial :: travel diaper change pad



Thought I should share how I make my version of this diaper change pad (like this too). This corduroy change pad is going to an expectant friend. It's pretty light weight and there's a roomy compartment, good for holding up to 2 disposable diapers, a pack of wet wipes and a tube of cream. It'll make a handy bringalong, ready to be brought out in a mummy's bag along with a baby.




I use

Materials:
corduroy (23.5" x 15")
terry towel (23.5" x 15")
vintage cotton (35.5" x 15")
embroidered trim (25.5")
thread
velcro (1" x 1")


I'd also need a sewing machine, scissors and a needle.




Fold the cotton (which would be used as a compartment for diapering accessories: wet wipes/diapers/cream) in half, right side facing each other and sew along the edges, approximately half an inch away from edge. Leave an opening and turn the right side out. Straighten the cloth and pin the edges and corner. Hem the opening to close the gap.



Place the sewn cotton on the right side of corduroy, placing it at the width of the corduroy. Place the piece of terry towel over and sew the 3 pieces of fabric together. Then sew along the side of the corduroy and terry cloth, ensuring that I do not fuse the cotton together. Turn the right side out.




Pin the sides of the almost-there pad, hem the opening and top-stitch sew the sides of corduroy and terry cloth together.




Fold the cotton into half and pin the left and right side of the folded part to the other at a slight angle. Sew the left-right sides down. There, we have a roomy pocket.




The fastening part. Fold the trim (3" long) in and sew the sides close. Attach one part of velcro to it and sew. As for the other end of the trim, fold it slightly in and pin trim onto the middle of the corduroy. Sew the trim down onto the pad. Be sure that the thread colour matches the materials (top and bottom). (ie. black thread for trim, white thread at the bottom for matching the terry's colour.)

Fold the pad and estimate where the other part of velcro should be on the pad and sew.




There, we have a diaper change pad. Let me know if you've made one for yourself or a friend. Would love to receive any feedback on this tutorial. Thanks!

Monday, August 24, 2009

not bad for a weekend

Some reasons why I thought my weekend was pretty good.



Chancing upon these handkerchiefs from a small shopping mall (JM Kenten) that is located along the road to our home. I've never been there until yesterday. Can you imagine that, after all these years of living near this road?




Having the time to cook up shepherd's pie for the family and having it for lunch and dinner.

and

a reflexology session. (see here for a foot map). My first time in Palembang. I'm going for an hour and a half session next time. I'm hooked on it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

a red case for the stork




My new scissors arrived in the mail yesterday. It's a 3.5'' stork embroidery scissors, a gift from Brian (bought from here). He's asking Rp 5000 from me. It's a gesture that we carry out, probably uncanny to most people. We know not to give anything sharp as presents which we think to symbolize cutting ties from the recipient. Just like I would pay a nominal fee to Brian when he buys my footwear. Wouldn't want me to walk away from him, would he? We're superstitious that way.

Made a small case for the scissors from vintage trim, lined with scrap fabric. Definitely one of my favourite trims there. I may not have noticed until now but I like the colour red. Like seeing items with bursts of bright red around me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

kueh putu for the noon




Kaeden woke up from his noon nap and I decided to treat him to some kueh putu as the distinct whistling sound of the pushcart and the seller went pass our home. We stopped him and ordered 5 pieces. I thought the kuehs are like the kueh tutu from Singapore, only the ingredients are a lot simpler. Just flour and brown sugar filling. Normally, coconut shaving is sprinkled on the top along with sugar. I requested not having the coconut.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

a new book now




To immerse myself a little more into the crafting world, I decided to sign up for a (fabric+chocolates) swap for this month. It would help lift the spirit up a little, considering my rather randomness of crafting mode ever since giving birth to Kaeden. It's fun to put together things for someone and the anticipation of receiving a parcel in the mail is good for me.

This afternoon, I made a journal cover for my swap partner, Lori. I found a forgotten old journal made of blank pages with sturdy cardboard cover in my drawer. So I gave it a new lease of life by sewing a new old stock of vintage handkerchief (something I've been hoarding) and recycled floral print fabric into a cover for the blank journal.

Lori likes fabric designs from Amy Butler and Heather Bailey. These names sound so far away from me. It's definitely an educational online trip for me, learning about them today. I think I've an idea what theme my parcel for the swap should be.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

new in shop



Newly listed in my shop. An owl eyeglass case. Something I haven't make for a long time! Very happy to pick the vintage pattern up again.

Shop talk:
I'm having a promotion for my owl purses in the shop. (hint hint: prices going up!) So if you have been eyeing one, do pop over and adopt it soon.

celebratory lanterns



I have my fair share of complains of where we are living and working at now. Palembang, in my view is really a growing business town. There are a mixture of educated+refined, educated+uncouth and uncouth people, mostly the latter tipping the end of the balance. If we look close enough and willing to open our hearts and also with some luck, we get to meet friendly down to earth locals. I think I'll be a lot happier if there is a beach to go to, a mountain or two to ride up on and parks to go. But this is just, after all, Palembang and by the alignment of the stars, we are here for now.

Of course, I have some favourites of this place. Just a few but they're special. One of them is the road, Jalan Merdeka around mid August. It will be a colourful stretch, with clusters of road side vendors selling wooden lanterns in celebration for Indonesia's Independence Day (17 Aug).

I made a pilgrimage there with my family yesterday.





A boat lantern and a horse carriage have joined the duck lantern (2007).

Friday, August 14, 2009

woo~ oo~



woo~ oo~ that's what Kaeden would say occasionally, mimicking our dog, Mickey's howls when he sees any dog, alive or toy versions.

Appliqued on the two new white t-shirts are dog faces. Using some fabric recycled from my old T and some small pieces of new ones. When starting on the project, I was a little nervous. The above will be going to Kaeden's friend. It will be in a farewell parcel I'm putting together. The below T is for my kiddo who is starting to show tantrums freely and getting clingy after his morning naps.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

In the afternoon, I went for

a fabric shopping trip.
(something I hadn't done for awhile and happy to do again) :



Polka dots. Colours of maroon, red and chocolate brown.




florals and plaid cottons.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

thinking of owls



I'm thinking of owls today.

Thought this poem will be a counting fun with Kaeden.

Five Little Owls

5 little owls,
On a branch by the shore,
1 fell off,
Then there were 4.

4 little owls,
High in a tree,
The wind blew hard,
Then there were 3.

3 little owls,
None of them knew,
A raven took one,
Then there were 2.

2 little owls,
Sitting in the sun,
A raccoon came along,
Then there was 1.

1 little owl,
In the setting sun,
Flew off to the forest,
Then there were none.

(extracted and more Owl Poems from Can Teach)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

marmer~ cake (auntie's marble cake)



On the oven update: I had the oven mechanics took a look at it. There wasn't anything wrong. It simply has an automatic fire off sensor when the oven reaches the desired temperature. Ahhh... I see.... Then I got puzzled. Isn't the fire suppose to be kept on so as to keep the temperature constant?

Today I'm lucky to learn how to really bake from my Indonesian relative. Auntie Siew Seng has taught me how to cook quite a few Palembang dishes. I told her it's so much better to learn directly from someone rather than flipping through a cookbook. I'm always thinking of signing up a baking class. So... the thing is, I learn from auntie that when it comes to baking cakes and cookies, I do not need to use the top fire of my gas oven. Ah ha... the goon is finally enlightened!



The recipe below which I'll like to safekeep here.

-----------------------------------------------

marmer~ cake

Ingredients:

9 egg yolks
6 egg whites
195gr 'Blue Band' margarine
180gr 'Wysman' pure dutch (salted) butter
300gr powder sugar
260gr wheat flour
1 tbspn cocoa powder
1 tspn vanilla essence

Directions:

Preheat oven (180 deg cel).
Grease bundt pan using margarine and flour it.
In a bowl, combine and beat butter and margarine and sugar.
Add one egg yolk into the mixture, one at a time. Mix until the batter becomes creamy.
In another bowl, beat egg whites until aerated.
Add flour into mixture and mix with a spatula.
Then add aerated egg whites, a dollop at a time into the mixture.
Mix with spatula until even.
Add vanilla essence.

Sieve cocoa powder onto a big clean plate.
Use 1/3 of the cake mixture and mix it with the sieved cocao powder until it becomes a chocolate batter.
Pour most of the remaining cake mixture into the bundt pan, then the chocolate mixture, then the rest of the mixture.
Even out the top and use the handle of a spoon and twirl into the batter.
Put the pan into oven for 45min, or until cooked.

---------------------------

At this point, I'd like to add that my oven took more than the estimated 45min. Close to 1 hour and a half! The thermostat is certainly inaccurate as the fire was too weak and I had to turn the dial up. Looks like I have to get an oven thermometer.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Playmat :: on the land



This playmat took me a few hot, humid morning and afternoon sessions to make. Sewing the "tree" felt patches on was hard work. My favourite parts were the "quarry". Can you tell where?






(Playmat inspiration from Tangarang.)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

owl baking mould :: kueh bolu



When I saw the owl baking mould in a supermarket on Sunday, I almost did a happy dance. Bought two of it. I was careless as I only noticed some slight rusting on one mould where the teflon coating didn't cover some small parts of it when I returned home.

I thought the moulds would be good for making kueh bolu~s, one of Brian's favourite snacks. The recipe I used is from the book, Nyonya Specialties, purchased some years back. Just when I put the moulds filled with the batter into the oven, the bottom fire went off! In my exasperated bid to re-lit, I burnt off some skin on my finger on the wire rack inside. Now, this fire vanishing act had happened a few times before and when it didn't occur the last time of baking, I thought it is alright again. The oven must be looked into already!



I had to do my best with the only available top fire and was glad that of the whole batch of batter, some kueh~s did turn out. Honestly, I find the cakes too egg-y tasting. Compared to the ones we can buy from bakeries in Singapore, I'll like the recipe to be sweeter and more floury. Will attempt more tries until I get the "perfect" kueh~s.



My bad luck with the oven resulted in a burnt second batch attempt! Brian went to dish out the unburnt parts to eat. What a mouse! He took a photo of a super black owl on his hand.

Monday, August 03, 2009

on the floor



working on some felt, on the floor.
undertaking a project which I don't feel like completing today.
i think the tiles of this house are a little too dull.
i wish we have wooden flooring in this whole house instead!