Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas cards - Round 1

Here are the Christmas cards I made before my Penang trip. I experimented with a variety of colored cards, tried several different layouts and used all kinds of ribbons and laces to concoct these designs. favourite ...and its message inside

This set is what I call my Wise Men series :-)

I must say this is not the end. As you can see, I've yet to try out my punched out borders from my Penang trip. Maybe I should do something about those tomorrow...

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Food, glorious Ipoh food

Hubby took a day off on Thurs to drive down to Kuala Lumpur to help our younger daughter move back home after finishing her South Australian Matriculation program at Taylor's College. A quick stopover in Ipoh to visit my parents saw us tucking into some of Ipoh's specialties. Usually, we head for the hawker stalls for dinner but this round, we had guests. It's that time of the year for term break and like us, my brother-in-law and his wife were up in Ipoh to fetch their son home from Universiti Petronas. Dad and mum wanted to host so we went to one of our favorite restaurants in town - Seng Hup Kee.

We had Marmite chicken, Streaky pork & salted fish...

Dry-fried aubergine & long beans with dried prawns (their signature dish), Japanese toufu cooked with minced meat...
And the main dish? Black pomfret assam curry :D Are you drooling already?

For breakfast, it was dim sum at Ming Court. Did think about trying Fosan (another grand old dim sum shop that had moved opposite it) but in the end, loyalty reigned :-)

My daughter calls this the sweaty chicken (lol) because this oven-baked salted fella (an Ipoh specialty) starts off quite dry in the box but will be soaking wet in its own condensed juices by the time you get it home onto your dining table! Sorry, I have only the damp box to show - I forgot to take pictures AGAIN before we devoured it :S

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Penang - Day 2

I was totally knocked out by the time we left QEII but Day 2 in Penang was only just about to begin..... :D I am a real sucker for craft work... and when I have these expensive toys dangling so temptingly in front of me, there goes Sleep :D Thank you WMS for the panda eyes! LOL!

Punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, .punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch................

The results of sleeping at 2am... I believe these lovelies will be feeding my paper crafting craving soon. I was already seeing greeting cards, book marks and gift tags in my happy mess as I went to bed... or was it in my dreams? (lol)

When we got up, we decided to skip breakfast - to save our stomachs for lunch :D MS took me to the Spring Chamber @ the Sun. "Where???" you ask. You're forgiven... Not many people know that the Sun Yet San Memorial Centre along Macalister Road actually houses this neat little joint. Tucked away inside are also a cafe lounge and a gift boutique. Aaaaaaaaah! But, first a little diversion...

We were SO lucky... the centre was also hosting a craft fair and so this greeting was a total surprise. The rumbling of the stomach was forgotten and we were immediately feasting our eyes on this array of shell-crafted animals... See those cute little darlings on the right? Now if only babies were made from stockings :-)

Cute little felt dolls & animals..... and what do we have here on the right? Pencil companions (?) These are little stoppers you put at the end of pencils and they are made from Amos clay...

Kusudama origami ornaments (Japanese decorative balls)..... painting of river stones...

Look at this very cute door knob cover in the shape of a little girl with her bonnet & long skirt (In case the photography is so bad & you can't make head or tail of it, this is the backview)... ooooooh, and a lovely pyramid box that opens out into a container for your sewing equipment - it can't be anything else cos logic tells me the puffy triangular pillow inside is the pin cushion :-)

And how about this very innovative hotpot carrier? My head was swimming, I was overwhelmed with ideas for craft work :-)

Finally, back to our fine dining experience... The set lunch was a steal because at RM28.00 per head, you couldn't be getting a better deal - classy ambiance and beautifully presented western cuisine (that didn't shrink in size just because it was promoted as a set lunch!)

The mushroom soup was very different from our churn-of-the-mill type - you need to taste this for yourself to know what I mean. For the main course, both my friend and I ordered grilled lamb but she took carrot cake for the dessert while I had mango pudding. As usual, this glutton here couldn't contain her impatience and she forgot to take a photo again (of the mango pudding) :D Sorry!

Well, all good things had to come to an end... after the very sumptuous treat, my friend drove me to the jetty to catch the ferry home. Moral of the long rambling? Life should be filled with more little adventures like this :D :D :D

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Penang, here I come

Whatever got into me?! Here I was on the way to Penang... on the bus for the first time... and all on my own. Nope, I didn't quarrel with my dear hubby and ran away from home!!! I decided to embark on this little adventure all for the sake of a passion called quilting (LOL!) ...and I had the blessings of my family and lots of encouragement from my friend in Penang who provided free lodging and transport for the 2 whole days I was there :-) Thanks for the hospitality, MS. The bus stopped at Butterworth and I took the ferry across to the island where I was promptly picked up at the jetty.
First stop was a late lunch at the New Lane hawker stalls... to get my fill of chee cheong chook. See those mouth-watering deep-fried pig intestines and delicious red meat inviting you over? In my hunger, I forgot to take a picture of the bowl of piping hot porridge (sorry!) but I certainly did not forget the price - RM4.50! That's steep but one place that I will keep returning to... the porridge is THAT good :-)

It was straight to the Vistana Hotel after that. The 2 workshops (one on quilting & one on making bags / etui boxes) were about to "tutup kedai" when we arrived (after all it was almost 5pm). Anyway, we did catch a glimpse of what the participants had been up to... and WILL be up to (their course is a 3 day thingy). For visitors, there were quilt / bag exhibitions at the foyer... sale of sewing / crafting tools... and the Benina sales personnel was there to give us a very personal demonstration of their ultimate quilting machines. One word - COOOOL (if you are willing to fork out RM7999.00 :-)

Dinner was at QEII at the waterfront... This is one of the newer and more unique dining places on the island. It caters to the young (hey, we're young at heart; so that qualifies!) and serves a combination of Italian, Asian and French cuisine. It was a Friday night and drinks were on the house for ladies. I very timidly asked for a coke :D!!! The seafood pizza we ordered was the thin crust type and it came loaded generously with calamari rings, prawns and oysters topped with oozy yummy cheese... hmmmm... the word "delicious" does not do it justice (just don't ask the price, ok?) lol...

More pictures to remind me of my night in Penang. Shimmering lights... on the street... at the waterfront...

Truly, Penang deserves its title - "The Pearl of the Orient". My friends and I took a leisurely walk back to the car park... this was only day one. Come back if you want to know what I did on day two :-)

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quilting break

What do you think of these handmade cards I created some time back? I'm going to start another round of card-making this coming school holidays (two days time...HOORAY!). Nope, I've not turned my back on quilting :-) It's just that I'm forced to take a break... for now, at least. I have been working too much on the floor (my table is not big enough for my quilting projects) and that's why I've bursitis... THAT is according to the in-house doctor - my dear hubby! LOL! Anyway, with card-making, I sit at my table (he can't fault me there! Hehehe!) ...and yes, I can make some Christmas cards to start off... will post pictures of them when I have any to show.

Talking of Christmas, I also need to start on my presents. I hope to continue last year's tradition of giving out handmade gifts (it was table runners for 2008) but I've yet to come up with a project for this year. Of course, ideally, I would love to give a quilt to all my dear friends ;-) but we all know that is quite impossible :-) So...bright ideas, anyone?

Here... a few more cards from yester-year for you to enjoy :-)

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