Tuesday, July 26, 2011

strawberries :: apron

'strawberries' apron
It had been an eventful past two weeks for me and my family. I dealt with a minor cold hence lazy lethargic days and then it was off to Jakarta last Tuesday. We spent a few days in the city, with Brian away at work the first two days. On one of those days, I brought Kaeden to KidZania. It was certainly a memorable time although I'd think he would have a better learning opportunity at play there when he gets a bit bigger. When we returned home after the trip, the poor boy fell sick with stomach flu the next day. We went through lots of bed sheet changing and soup macaroni sessions over the weekend.

I took a little time off last evening to do some sewing in order to get my mind off my duties. Using the vintage McCall's 1877 (Misses' Aprons with Four-Color Strawberry Transfer) I'd received from Adey, I made the view A, a half apron as a birthday present for Jenny, Kaeden's auntie; of which the fabric of linen and pink cotton were already in my stash. 

I found absolute great joy in using the two of the nearly-60-year-old strawberries print transfers which still work beautifully(!) that came with the pattern.

strawberries print transfer

'strawberries' apron close-up

I omitted the band on the bottom of the apron, added an additional pocket instead and decorated the waistband using white lace. I thought the transfer paper was too precious to be thrown away even after using it and pasted it on a piece of cardboard. I wrote a recipe of homemade strawberry jam I found online on the other side. Then gift wrap the apron in a piece of organza.

recipe card n' apron gift

Now that Kaeden is feeling a lot better, I should be able to get some time out of home soon and shop for a cookbook which I intend to gift along the apron.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

blueberries & a feature

canned blueberries

blueberry muffins

This is my third attempt of a new recipe from the mini cookbook chef wan: baked treats; blueberry muffins. I'm going to try going through the content of recipes in the book, especially the fruit based ones which makes the bulk of it anyway. I asked Brian for a taste of this batch of muffins and he thought it wasn't sweet enough. I thought the bite into the blueberry bits sort of make up the lack of sweetness. Perhaps I ought to increase the brown sugar content the next time.

note to self:
-makes a batch of 18 small cupcake size muffins
-1 can of Oregon brand blueberries fills up to nearly a full cup


I'm honoured to be able to do an interview at Burdastyle.

If you'll like to read more, please ::click here::.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Lowly worm

Lowly worm

feeding Lowly

Kaeden is a huge fan of Richard Scarry's stories, particularly the ones involving characters residing in Busytown. I'll try to get hold of related books to read to him whenever and the boy is fond of watching the Busytown mysteries (learning a few catchphrases from Pig Will and Pig Won't while at it) and the whole Best Ever! series videos on dvds. Naturally he will have a favourite character and that happens to be Lowly worm.

There was pressure on me from the father and son duo to make a Lowly worm plush toy. Kaeden has been increasing the pressure especially of late. He would say, "Lowly has one shoe on, a hat and no hands." so I would get a good mental picture of how to make one. Okay, I felt the heat. I couldn't even buy one (and get it quick to save me in time) even if I want to. I really have to make one.

I got to work right after breakfast this morning, skipping our routine of writing and table-work and guess what, no bugging of watching cartoon from my boy. Kaeden very obediently played by himself but of course, barging into my workspace and asking me every now and then, "Is it done yet?".

Kaeden's new companion is made of fabric (some reused from clothing/sheet), stuffing and felt as interface for the hat and two small buttons for the shirt. and he loves it. He wants to bring it out, "so I can show to 'all people'. Can I bring him to the cinema with me?". Are we going to the cinema? We have yet to watch a show in a cinema together. That boy is certainly good at putting fun ideas into my head.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

ladies of the yesteryear

I've been immensely lucky to receive some gorgeous things in the mail of late.
Here are some with very pretty illustrated ladies of the past.

gifted patterns

Two sewing paper patterns I won in past separate giveaways. (Thank you, Adey and Michelle.) I'm hoping to work on them soon! On top of a pattern, Michelle also gave me a gift voucher to fabric.com. I have never bought fabric online once bought a charm pack of reproduction fabric and I was so overwhelmed when shopping for one! After thinking hard and long, I decided to cut the chase and go with 4 yards of this:

Something I would be sure of using and that it is stretch jersey, a fabric I would want to try my hands sewing on. I hope I made a good decision!

side note: Fabric.com does not ship to Indonesia as of date.


A birthday package which contained this sweet-at-first-hilarious-later tin box and a lovely written card from my best friend. Thank you, Qing!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

writing with thread

our magical creation boxes

our magical creation boxes

I'm currently reading 'Ask and It is Given', a book akin to the concept or a new thought of 'the law of attraction', something Brian introduced me to and who has been egging me on to read about and practice on. Unlike fiction and novels, I tend to read (self-help?) books at a real slow pace, preferring to dwell and digest a point at a time each day.

One of the exercises (called 'process' in the book) to help me achieve my desires faster is to possess a box which I'll be happy to look at and in it, fill up with cuttings of pictures (from ie. magazines/catalogs/brochures, for which in my case, it'll have to be images from the world wide web) and written words of experiences I'll love to have in my life. The rationale of that is : the act of putting them into the box reduces or brings to naught, any chance of resistance in aid of things (you desire) to happen quickly.

Okay, so this sounds like a fun idea to me and definitely something I could work on. I picked up two stowed away weave baskets which came with my jam purchases and set to work on labeling them. I knew I didn't want printed words on paper and thought I could try embroidered words on fabric instead. and I wanted them quick. So instead of hand embroidering, I used my sewing machine. At first I used the zig zag function and nearly wanted to give up at the word 'contained'. I thought it was too messy but i persevered. Not the nicest looking words around but I'm glad Brian's okay with it. Sorry! I then switched to simple straight lines for words on my box. Still messy but much better.

Now, to fill that box in...

Sunday, July 03, 2011

bread pudding & kettle corn

bread pudding

bread pudding

I've often wondered how a dish of baked bread and butter pudding tastes like, reading about it for the first time :: here :: a signature dish of Amesh's. She was really kind to share the recipe with me but I was too lazy to get it translated into English, and that was nearly a year ago. A few days ago I found out I have something similar in a mini cookbook already on my bookshelf. 

Bread pudding with green apples, cinnamon and raisins, recipe from 'Baked treats' by Chef Wan.
The portion runs big for our family. So I'll half the ingredients the next time I make it. We had it for lunch for the first time and finally I know how it tastes! I do like eating bread and butter.


Then we had kettle corn for teatime.
I do hope you have yummy treats to eat today. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

50 pouch project :: first batch of 18


50 pouch project


50 pouch project

50 pouch project

50 pouch project

50 pouch project

On my last visit home, I promised my mum I'd help her make pouches which she intends to give as year end gifts to her colleagues at her workplace, a public hospital. 50 pouches in all, she asked me to make. That trip home, I found a bag of scrap cloth; mostly remnants of cotton used to make my maternal grandmother's blouses. It was unearthed from the storage room not too long ago by my mother, who once took charged of looking for seamstresses to make clothes for my then elderly on-the-big-side grandma. I told mum I'd used those scraps for some of my pouch making. (see my current blog banner;

                                                for mentioned already-freshly-laundered scrap fabric.)

Mum's response to that was lukewarm. "哪里 美...?". Even Brian shared her less than enthusiastic opinion. Why hold such negative connotations to a bundle of cloth associated to grandma? I was determined to make nice looking pouches out of them.

Last Saturday I cut these fabric pieces up, adding in some from my scrap stash then matched them with my available lot of zippers and lining fabric and interfacing with felt. At a slow and steady pace over the week, I completed the first batch of 18 zippered pouches in  slightly varying sizes. because variety is good. in my book.