Thursday, July 31, 2008

Finishing up

Another project completed :-) I chose a wooden box to finish up this cross-stitched piece. I did not have much flexibility as there was not enough seam allowance on my aida.

What do you think of the tassel finishing? I wasn't too sure but I wanted to try something different from the usual flat looks. I still have mixed feelings about this one... Would love to hear some comments? Thanks!

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Fruitful day

My sister-in-law came down for a night and we had a great time finishing up some pieces we cross-stitched earlier. You can see my first floss ring tag here. It turned out OK but I believe it would have looked better if I had puffed up the stiff aida. Will definitely try this finishing again as it's quick and easy but this time with linen.

I used Japanese cotton for the back as I had no time to backstitch another piece. Too impatient to try out the eyelet puncher I guess ;-)

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Smashing stashing time

Went downtown to one of the bigger haberdasheries last weekend. What luck! They were having a clearance sale and look what I found and took home...

3 pairs of scissors!!! The biggie for cutting fabrics and the smaller ones for different project bags. Not exactly what I had in mind. Actually, I've been drooling over (lol) those small quaint-looking needlework scissors I saw on other stitchers' blogs. Have been on a look out for these for a while but looks like the shops here just do not stock them :-(

Buttons and charms... Have no plans for these yet but I'm sure they will come in handy one of these days (I think we don't call it stashing for nothing!!!). I just love the gold ornate-looking buttons, don't you? So antique-y, if there is ever such a word :-)

And lace. There was an overflowing abundance of laces of all kinds at the shop, all knocked down by 70% :-) I exercised full restrain (pats on the back!!!) and decided to just stash this (lol). The size and colour, I'm bound to make use of it.

Also got some fabrics. Again no projects in mind, just pure indulgence :-) :-) :-)

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Patchworked with love

See my friend's patchwork blanket? Listening to her regaling about her project has stirred up nostalgic memories of nights long gone-by when as children, my brother and I would curl up snugly under the patchwork blankets made by our maternal grandmother. Unlike the fanciful patterns I have since encountered, ours were mainly simple joined-up squares that formed no particular design at all because they were made out of remnant fabrics. However, I know I loved that old blanket! I remember instead of counting sheep, almost every night I would be searching for my favourite squares of sweet tiny flowers or hunting high and low for some cute little bear or duck.

Well, one thing I also know, patchwork is NOT for grandmothers alone! I made this a few years ago for my daughter when she left home for university. A very dear friend of mine was using this pattern for a quilt for her daughter in America and encouraged me to take on the project as well. So, with a personal tutor on hand, how could I refuse? (LOL) I also finished it in no time... partly, because I omitted some steps. Due to the warm weather here, I left out the layers of wadding and hence, the quilting :-)

A closer look at the design... I just love how the blocks seem to join up so effortlessly into this intriguing interlocking pattern. Don't you? Sorry the photo is a little blur. Just had my daughter take the picture and sent it over a few minutes ago. Actually, it's the blanket, I was told - it's faded a bit after much wear and tear :-( Lesson learnt: always take pictures of your work immediately!

Finally, thank you to all for dropping by this obscure little blog of mine from time to time. {Hugs}

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

There! All done

There! All done. What do you think of my self-designed "frame"? It was actually an after-thought as I found the original design too small. However, now that the frame has been added, I have a sickening suspicion I may have pushed my luck too far! I can only keep my fingers crossed the seam allowance is enough when I make the tag. YES! My FIRST floss ring tag! I wonder when my sis-in-law is planning her trip down here???

... and there's more! I also managed to complete this piece. It turned out much bigger than expected so I've not really thought about the finishing yet. Any suggestions?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Keeping my word

As you can see, I'm eager to get one or two pieces of smalls done (as tags for floss rings) before my sister-in-law's next visit. We plan to test out the eyelet puncher together. The design's adapted from The Big Book of Beautiful Flowers by Good Natured Girls. I did not stick to the recommended colours as I am trying to use up the odds and ends from previous sewing projects. The stitching is almost done except for the butterfly. Because of the size, working on it is a breeze.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

BeEN TOSsing around

Nothing Japanese to it. And definitely nothing to shout about. Aesthetics and nutrition wise, I think it is sadly in need of some greens :-( Self-rating... 4/10

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New toy

See my new toy? :-) :-) :-) My sister-in-law has been itching to get hold of an eyelet puncher for some time and this morning she sent this very "infectious bug" (which I interpreted as needing immediate attention) my way. So I popped into my friendly stationery store downtown just now and look what I found for her :-) I haggled like a mad woman and came out of the shop looking as pleased as pie. I was told that this was the last one in the shop and the price I paid was a steal as the new stock coming in would be very much more expensive. I'm definitely going to get one or two pieces of crossstitch done this week so that we can work on the finishing together when she comes down to claim her prized possession!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Inspired to "bento"

Hopping around blogs landed me in Bento Land. I was greatly intrigued by these ladies and their bentos. And what more, they have inspired me to want to join the bandwagon :-)

Yummy, right? This picture is a courtesy of Wikipedia. Japanese in origin, bentos are simply home-packed meals. But far from our usual run-of-the-mill packed lunches, bentos are aesthetically pleasing to the eye because they are creatively put together. Needless to say the trade comes with its own set of tools and equipment, but no point spending big bucks now investing in things that may turn out to be only a flash in the pan!!! Yeah, that's me ;-)

Right! We need to start somewhere. Hmmm... the bento box! So let's dig out the containers.

Next move? Set the alarm half an hour earlier each morning! (LOL) Will be back with more...

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My new workstation

This is my "new" work station as of today. Previous one was on the right, tucked away from all the hustle and bustle of staffroom traffic. Suited me fine... until the air-conditioning kaput-ed! No choice but to move house as it was like being cooked in my own little oven. I could have sat this out actually but who knows when the school authorities will call in the serviceman (especially during this time of tariff hike and all) and my cozy little nook was far away from the nearest fan. Opening up the windows wouldn't help either as the air outside can be so still. Nope, better not take any chances.

Well? After 2 hours plus of panting and sweating, what do you think? One positive outcome of this forced labour: I finally tidied up my work area. Given half the chance, I could have shamelessly wallowed under all the files, activity sheets and exercise books till the end of the year! The only trouble now is I hope I know where to look for these things when I need them... (LOL)

And one last thing before I publish this post... This is one of my few companions that survived the move! Take your bow, Mr. Drake ;-)

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

God Bless America

By Roy Lessin

God bless America with --Comfort for all who mourn;

Peace for all who are troubled; Grace for all who are needy;

Courage for all who fear; Strength for all who are weary;

Faith for all who are seeking; Hope for all who are uncertain;

Protection for all who serve; Wisdom for all who lead.

to all my American friends!

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hari Kokurikulum

Today was Hari Kokurikulum. This is an annual co-curricular programme carried out in most Malaysian schools - a day when we mobilize our clubs and societies to run food sales and other money-churning activities. Somewhat similar to our school funfairs of old but not quite so fun or fair anymore now that I am the teacher and have to do the bulk of the work!!! (LOL)

Anyway, I had my English Language Society do a jumble sale. The perfect idea to get my students to walk the talk after all those lessons in class about "Greening the Environment”. I could also kill many birds with NO stones :-) No competition, we had nothing to do with food, the major theme of almost every other stall. No need to buy ingredients and spend time on the preparation, set up the stall on the morning itself. No messy cooking, just need the students to sell the stuff and collect the coupons. The most wonderful part, of course, was no capital outlay, it was profit all the way since we would be getting the teachers and students to donate to us unwanted stuff from their homes.

Well, I wouldn't call the day a resounding success, maybe more of an eye-opener. Malaysians are still very "sticky" about second-hand stuff. Of course, those who live in the bigger cities or have been overseas (and are familiar with charity and thrift shops, car boot sales and flea markets) would beg to differ. Unfortunately, there are still many of us who have this misguided sense of pride and would rather be dead than to be caught shopping at second-hand shops! Can't blame them sometimes when most of these enterprises they walk into go by the same old uninteresting name and more often than not, are dingy-looking and smelly. Now, maybe if they have a better set-up, more attractive displays, an exciting and captivating name (Treasure Trove? Second Charm? Your Trash My Gem?)..... Then perhaps, it's also time for a paradigm shift for some of us too, especially in these days of inflation and souring prices.

On a lighter note, I won this hamper during the lucky draw at today’s event!

You can see the contents here. OK, so it’s all junk food. But, I won't be eating everything myself. I'll get my friends to share this guilty burden :-)

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Patchwork is also something that I enjoy doing. My most recent project is this set of cushion covers (which has since found a good home with a friend). I didn't follow any particular pattern but made it up as I went along. Not one of my favorites though. The fabrics, the colors... don't quite know what I was thinking of then (lol).

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