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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thread Catcher Lesson from Jo

After our NnC Anniversary (read my last post), Nik and I made a date with Jo to give us a lesson on how to sew the thread catcher that she made for the exchange gift. So right after work yesterday, I drove to Jo's place. I arrived about 2.30pm, the same time as Florence, Jo's friend, who was there to join in the lesson too. Nik arrived a short while later.

Nik and I had so much fun doing the thread catcher together with Jo guiding us. I was forever going, "Nik, wait for me. Don't go so fast" and "Oops, I pressed the wrong button again, Jo". You see, I'm so kiasu and Nik was always a step ahead of me so I have to ask her to slow down. Besides, I'm not familiar with the Rolls Royce of a sewing machine that Jo allowed me to use, her Bernina!!! I went pressing all the buttons except the correct ones so it kept beeping at me. I could have used my Janome that I had brought along but since Jo offered the use of her machine, I did not hesitate. I wanted to try it out.

We were so engrossed in finishing the thread catcher that we lost track of time. It was fast approaching 6.30pm so we decided to continue working on the thread catcher at home. With Jo's explanations, we were pretty sure that we could finish it off on our own. We packed up and Jo brought out some Malay kuih for tea. Before we both hit the road, we went through some stash that Jo wanted to let go. You see, Jo had just re-organised her sewing room earlier in the day and decided to give up cross stitching, stamping and macrame for good. What a pity but that's to my gain. I off-loaded some items from her at a real bargain.

Today, I continued to work on the thread catcher and am glad that I managed to finish it. I had initially intended to RAK someone with this but I'm gonna be a bit selfish. I'm going to keep it for myself.

thread catcher - full view

thread catcher - close up of pincushion

Category: [needle work]

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Two in one... post

1. NNC's Card Swap Exchange - September 2007

In September, Ying organised a card swap exchange and rare as it seems, I signed up for it. Card making is not my forte but the challenge was hard to resist as Ying provided all the materials. I'll do anything for free! The twist to this exchange was that each participant received identical materials except for the colours and we were only allowed to add on three items of our own to complete the card. There were thirteen participants in all and my partner was Usha.

What's fantastic about exchanges is that most often, we receive more than what was called for. As you can see, Usha has sent along with her card so many printed stickers and tags. I have not put to use any of them as yet but you know me, I'm a stasher.

from Usha to me

from me to Usha

2. NnC's 1st Anniversary Meet-up

Months back we were highlighted by Margaret that NnC will be a year's old on 30 October 2007 and she (did I get this right?) mooted the idea that we have a meet-up in celebration of it. We settled on 3 November 2007 and Nik is to be the hostess of this event. To spice it up, we'll have an exchange as the finale. Every participant is to stitch and finish something and we'll do a lucky dip to see who gets whose. What is a meet-up without food and we settled on having a potluck so as not to burden Nik with the cooking. She does not have a maid and it won't be fair to have her slaving over a stove. The excitement builds up during the last week prior to the meet-up when Margaret got online to say she has received exchanges that came in from both local and overseas participants that were not able to attend.

The day came and I scooted off from work an hour earlier. En-route to Nik's place, I picked Rose up from her apartment at Kelana Jaya. Locating Nik's house was no problem. We just followed our ears to the din that was created by this one house. Drumroll... and the culprits were Nik, Margaret, Jackie (Margaret's sis), Emily, Diyana (Emily's DD), BJ, Usha and Janet. Anna was there too but I didn't name her as amongst the culprits as she's the quiet one. I guess she felt a bit shy as this was the first time she got to meet anyone of us. After doing my round of 'hello-ing' I zoomed in for the food as I was famished. I did not have breakfast and it was way past my lunch time. I wasn't disappointed as Nik's dining table was filled to the brim with food brought in by the participants. There were lontong, rendang, nasi briyani, kesari, dhall curry, pizza, yam cake, carrot cake, banana cake, brownies, longan, sotong sambal and Ipoh mari's white coffee. Jo and Faizon joined us later and we had to pile their jellies and macaroni & cheese on top of others. Last to arrive were Linda and Azie with their kueh raya.

In between eating, I caught up with the girls on their latest pursuits, walked to the display cabinet a couple of times to admire the exchange gifts that were piled on top and wondering which one will be mine. I did a tour of Nik's stitching room. My! Nik has her stitching room so well organised that every nook and corner is stacked so neatly with her stash for cross stitching and stamping work. Margaret summed up our envy of Nik's stitching room. She took the tour three times to look-see and appreciate. I'd also managed to see Margaret's much talked about 'tai pau' pincushion. I do not foresee anyone of us ever making a bigger pincushion than hers. Its a record she's bent on holding as she said, whenever someone comes up with a bigger pincushion, she'll make a bigger one. Lol!

NnC's 1st Anniversary - exchange gifts

Margaret's famous 'tai pau' pincushion atop Nik's quilted bags

Some of the members made extra gifts for the attendees in addition to the exchange gift. Usha worked till the wee hours of the anniversary day itself to finish her crocheted hearts. She gave each of us two plus some Christmas gift tags. A pincushion came from Nik and another pincushion from Margaret that has my initial on it, and yet another pincushion from Rose that has a roll of ribbon stuck in a side pocket. And I gave the girls each a tagalong pincushion.


from me to the girls - tagalong pincushions

4.00pm came and I was egging Margaret to have the anniversary draw. Once Margaret had the numbers in a bowl, we gave Nik the honour of drawing hers first. I drew no. 5 and that came from Jess. In the parcel was a red and white patchwork journal cover, two packets of Madeira floss, three choc koalas and a tin of scent. As you can see, by the time I can take a shot of the gift, my DD and I had each consumed a koala. Lol!

Usha drew my gift and in it was something real naughty. I stitched this chart by Pique & Pique called 'petite Lingerie'. I went through a gamut of emotions stitching this piece. Most times, I felt cheeky like Nik said, both sexy and melancholy when reminiscing about the body I once had, and naughty when I thought of how my partner would react upon opening the gift.

petite Lingerie - front

petite Lingerie - back

Time flies when you are having fun and all too soon, we came to the end of the meet-up. We bid our adieus knowing that we'll meet again.

Category: [cross stitch]

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Lazy Blogger

Yeah, that's me. I do realise that it's months since I last blogged but each time I feel like blogging, I'll come up with one excuse after another. So... I dragged it till today. What's my excuse? Like I have told members of NNC, I have just been languishing at home doing absolutely nothing except watching telly and reading. However, I do have things to show cross-stitch wise that I have yet to blog about before this slump.

First up is my mail art, organised by the Legacy Embroiderers Group, had reached Shannon in Canada the beginning of July. I was pretty nervous when I first signed up for this exchange as I have never done a mail art before. When Patti emailed that my partner is Shannon, I checked Shannon out. Horrors, Shannon is a cross-stitch designer! Now, I'm doubly nervous. Hmm... Pat might have purposely set me up on this; that I have to learn to finish one and finish a good one at it as expert's eyes are watching! Here, you can see that I've had chosen what was first on Shannon's list - cats. So I gave her Cats, Cats, Cats by Janlynn! To make it an all cats' affair, I went to hunt down some cats' stamps to go with it. Lucky for me, I managed to get some at a shop recommended by our Main Post Office at Dayabumi. I thoroughly enjoyed selecting portions of the chart to stitch to make up this "envelope". Finishing it was another story. I found the linen I used a bit fiddly so rather than to risk it, I borrowed an idea from BJ and hand-stitched it with invisible thread. All in, it was quite an experience but hooray, I've finished my first mail art! Am I game for more? Guess I like the torture. I have signed up for another mail art exchange and this time I have to exercise more care in pasting the stamps.

Next up is my very first Christmas ornament that I'd stitched. It's Holy Noel by Homespun Elegance found in JCS 2005's issue. I thought I'd better start early with my ornaments stitching this year as for the past two years, having made up an ambitious list, I'd landed up with nothing to show. This project took a little planning as there were no instructions given to construct the pillow. I could think of two methods I can use but chose the one that needed lesser material. You know, linen are pricey over here in Malaysia. It was a quick stitch once the pillow was constructed.

Last but not least, here's the lovely etui I received from Emily as my birthday gift. What do you say when someone thinks of you on your special day? Thank you once again, Emily. I am truly blessed!

Category: [cross stitch]

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The week that is

I was pleasantly surprised when a package came for me on Friday from Janet. In it I found my advance birthday present. Thank you Janet for your kindness and yes, the turtle would make a good companion for the hippo Jo stitched for me. You can see he is very at home at the lily pond but this turtle doesn't like to get wet. Lol.

Janet quilts and a good one at that. I guess she is trying to convert me to be one as well with this quilting book. There are a couple of quilts in there that are inviting and when will I start on one? I honestly don't know but I have downloaded the sewing roll mentioned in page 1 so I may start with that.

Today, being Sunday, I reckon if I don't pick up my camera to take pics of the handphone fob that Faizon, our tatting sifu, taught Janet and I to tat at the meet-up on 2 June, I wouldn't get down to doing it at all. During the meet-up, I refresh what I had learnt from Faizon before; how to tat round a ring and to do a folded join. What's new was to do a twisted cord a-la Faizon's way. Its tricky but had I being left on my own to tat it with written instructions, I would definitely not be able to do so. It's nothing compared with visual learning from a patient teacher. The fob on the right was tatted after the meet-up at home. I was stumped when I came to the cord since this was done on the chain and not the ring like the previous one. After a bit of sweat, I managed to get it right.

Category: [misc]

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mr Postman has been kind

I was expecting the usual from Mr Postman, bills and bank statements but this couple of weeks, he's been kind. He has delivered me my first mailart exchange from Connie on May 14. I knew that Connie was the first amongst the participants from Legacy Embroiderers Guild to finish hers but thought that it was going to Toni from the pic she has posted in her album. Mine I presumed was still in the making by another secret partner. How wrong was I until my colleague who was sorting the mail commented that, "this is a beautiful envelope", that I realised it was for me. Oh, I absolutely love the theme Connie had chosen for me and gosh, her work is so neat. Each stitch is perfect; pact flat with no kinks and that brings out the shine of the floss.

This is the first mailart I've had; never stitched nor received any before, and you know how it goes when its the first time... Thank you, Connie, you have made me very happy.

Another surprise came as a RAOK from Barbara or BJ as she likes to be addressed. Actually it shouldn't be any surprise if it comes from BJ as she is ever so generous. One member after another at NNC has been getting surprises in the mail from her lately and I count myself blessed to be one of the recipients. This is another first for me; a pinkeep. Go to BJ's blog, she will be able to tell you more about this. Don't forget to read about the little competition she is holding. The deadline for sign-up is May 31 so hurry! I'm in on this one. I'll be stitching "A Bouquet for Cheryl" with Carrie's Romance.

pic was pinched from BJ's blog

Good things come in three fold. It's not free but at least, it didn't go missing! I'm talking about the collaboration packs that I have ordered through Country Stitch - Summer Fantasy and a back order, Nature Hues that Catherine discounted for me. This is the first time I've ordered through Country Stitch since The Dye Is Cast has shutdown. It was a pleasant transaction and I'll be buying from her again. Now I am off to earn more $$$ to stash.

Category: [cross stitch]

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My latest addition

Of late I have been trying to raise another family but this time, without my husband's help. He doesn't mind so long as he gets to hoard the tv while I'm at it. After a gestation period of 20 years and more, I birth her. She's easy to care for; doesn't cry for milk nor fuss at all. But alas, I have to put her up for adoption as I do not want to bring shame to the family. You see, anyone could tell that she's not my husband's as she is a blondie whereas my husband has jet black hair, and so have I.

No fret, she has gone to a good home and apparently her adopted brother, Nigel, is so taken with her that he thinks she's a doll!

To fill the void, Jo has sent me a hippo. In order not to remove it from its natural habitat, it shall be allowed to live in my pond of water lilies. In the meantime, I am going to let it play with some of its sea mates. Husband is happy, I am happy, everyone is happy. Oh, how I revel in stories with good endings.

Pincushion Exchange 2007
Category: [needle work]

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I'm doomed

Help! Someone has cast Black Magic on me. Not once, not twice but three times! With just a mere glance, I was doomed. It all started when I was googling the net for a tatted bookmark pattern and then, lo, I was spellbound by the mere sight of it. For a few days I fought it until I could fight no more. Succumbed to it I did by hitting the "Buy" button. Gotcha!

I was referring to this book by Mary Konior known as Tatting with Visual Patterns. I bought it for just this one pattern, Black Magic. I had tatted it thrice and the last time was for an exchange organised by ShuttlesandNeedles (SNN) known as Tatted Bookmark Exchange. I just hope my partner, Angie, will fall for it.

In return, Angie has tatted me two bookmarks. The green one known as The Crazy-Daisy-Eight Split Ring is meant for this exchange. The variegated one known as The Honey Comb Split Ring is a bonus. Split ring was a technique she learnt from Faizon, our sifu, at our last meet-up in February 2007 and she has put them to practise as evidenced from the pic below. It sure is hard to select which one I like better for I like both and I'm grinning from ear to ear as I've gotten two bookmarks in exchange for one.

Category: [needle work]

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gong Xi, Gong Xi

Here’s wishing the New Year
heralds new joys, new hopes &
plenty of smiles

Happy Chinese New Year to You!

Category: [TAG]

Monday, January 08, 2007

French Redwork Exchange (FRE)

I've always admired all things French and I love the colour red so when the group where I'm a member of, NeedlesnCrafts, organised an exchange that's called "French Redwork Exchange" at the end of 2006, I've no hesitancy in signing up. Mailing date is 10th January 2007 but I can blog about it as I've sent off as well as received mine and besides, I want to save Barbara from the torture of pulling her hair each minute the pics are not up.

Cool Slideshows

On 6th January 2007, I received from my partner, Janet of Ipoh, my first ever needle book. As you can see from the pics above that she has stitched on both the front and back. The stitched pieces were frayed off at the edges and attached to a red and white gingham backing with red crosses to complement. Inside, both leafs of the book were stitched with felt to park needles (pins in this instance). And I guess the provision of the two ribbons are for me to string the reel of thread I'm working on. I heard Janet is real good in patchwork and it shows in her work - neat and precise. Thank you, Janet!

Cool Slideshows
Designed by DominiqueA
Finishing idea copied from Veronique

My other partner is Nik and it’s to her that I’m to send my exchange to. I had chosen for Nik a freebie ‘A Comme Amitié or 'With Friendship' by Dominique done in DMC 115. I had originally intended this to be a scissor case but tried as I did, I couldn’t get the sharp bottom edge right due to the thickness of the linen and backing. In frustration and desperation, I had it converted to a pincushion instead. Thought that it was rather plain looking so I dressed it up a little by blanket-stitching a layer of felt over a cardboard recycled from my 2006’s desk calendar and batting for the cushion to sit on. Strung the corners of the cushion onto the felt board, added the tassels and buttons and voila, mission accomplished!

I had a colleague hand delivered the package over to Nik on 8th January 2007 instead of posting it as the distance to her office and post office is the same. Didn’t think much about it until my colleague rang to say that Nik has handed a letter to him for me. Before I received the envelope, I thought Nik must have written a quick thank you note for the exchange she just received but lo, when I opened it up, I found a cut of fabric and a handmade card (obviously by her) thanking me for my support of NNC. No Nik, I should be the one thanking you for inviting me to be a member of this group where I've derived hours of pleasure. Thank you too for the fabric you sent me and it was nice talking to you over the phone today.

Category: [cross stitch]

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas everyone!

Category: [TAG]

Sunday, November 12, 2006

You are cordially invited

to the above chinese ink painting exhibition if you happened to be in the vicinity of Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur anytime from now to 30th November 2006. Being exhibited are 87 paintings done by members of the Malaysia Chinese Ink Painting Society where I'm a life member. If any of the paintings takes your fancy and you would like to own an original ink painting, just walk up to the gallery owner and pull out your credit card as most of the paintings are up for sale.

I was there at the official opening of the exhibition last Sunday, 5th November, as one of my paintings was selected out of the 300+ shortlisted. I painted this just before I left for UK in June and when I resumed my lessons in August, my teacher told me about this upcoming exhibition and asked me to submit it for the committee's consideration. It took the committee a month to select the 87 paintings. We were not told how much our paintings were to be priced at and I was like, perhaps RM500 the most since my last painting was priced at a measly RM70! I walked and I walked in search of my painting and found it at the end of the gallery and imagine my joy when I saw that my painting was tagged at RM1,500. Yeah! Now I've got to look for a buyer. Haha...

In the event you are wondering if I did the calligraphy, the answer is no. My teacher wrote them and its about these two birds seeking shelter from the rain under some foliages found at a pond during spring time. Its dusk and the farmers are back home after a hard day's work. The birds are happy and contented where they are now - safe and sheltered.

Category: [chinese brush painting]

Sunday, November 05, 2006

RIP Duke

Duke left us on 19 October 2006, three days after an operation to remove a tumour. It was an op I do not know if I should had let him undergo. A couple of weeks prior, I had noticed a lump at his groin. He was in no obvious pain for his appetite was good and he was his normal noisy and playful self. However, the lump was growing and I took him to the vet on 14 October 2006. I was hoping that it was nothing but I was wrong. The vet advised that Duke had testicular tumour due to an undescended testicle and it was suppressing his bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells. Had I gone any later, Duke would have bled to death for his PCV had dropped to a dangerous level. The best option for him was to go for the op and I consented.

The op can only be carried out on Monday, 16 October 2006 but we had to leave Duke at the vet to prepare him for his op. It was heart-breaking when we left him as he thought we were abandoning him. He barked so hard and loud for us to take him home. I turned back a couple of times to re-assure him that I'll be back for him. The times that Duke was there, he refused the food that the vet fed him and I had to bring from home his usual canned food and biscuits.

The op went on well as the tumour was found to be isolated to just the right testicle. His blood test showed no adverse results but neither was there any improvement despite being given a blood transfusion. The vet told me it was nothing to worry about as it usually takes 2-3 weeks before we can see results. Duke was subdued but happy when I went to see him. I was very careful not to hurt him when I carried him. The second day, Duke was showing signs of going downhill although he walked up to me to be cuddled. The third day, he just stayed in his cage and ignored us.

When I received a call from the vet at 11.00am on 19 October 2006, I knew I was going to lose Duke. I rushed to the vet from office and found Duke lying down in a daze. He took his last breath while I was stroking him and telling him what a wonderful dog he was and that I love him so much.

Category: [ramblings]

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I've been home more than a month...

but could only heave myself to sit in front of the comp to blog about it now. My excuse for not doing so earlier? Well, I went straight back to work just two days after I've returned and have been kept busy with some corporate exercise that the company is undergoing. Any free time I have is occupied by my latest two craze: solving sudoku(s) and tatting. This I will talk about later.

By the way, I've been signed back on for a 2-year contract with my company. Against the norm, there was no pay cut and in fact, there was an adjustment upwards. Not much but I am very grateful to my boss.

Back to my trip to UK and Paris. My cousin and I landed at Heathrow, London on 14 July. My niece, being such a sweet darling, came all the way from Sheffield with her friend to meet up with us at the airport as she's afraid her mom and I would need help with the luggages and in locating the Riverbank Plaza Hotel. Immediately after checking in, we took the tube t0 Chinatown, Leicester Square, to have an early dinner as my niece and friend had to catch the 9.30pm train back to Sheffield. Coming out of the exit of the Leicester Square station, we saw this raised platform with a big crowd of people and I was hoping it's not a demonstration or something for I do not wish to be caught in the midst of it. It wasn't, just Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn were to appear at the premiere of their film, ahem... "The Break-up". Did I wait to catch a bit of the action? I did. Did I manage to catch a glimpse of her? No. EVERYBODY towered over me! Resigned, we went for dinner at this Malaysian restaurant. I had "Hokkien Mee' and it tasted pretty authentic. Whiff, whiff... turned around and saw this boy next table relishing on his plate of sambal petai (stink bean)! Are we still in Malaysia? As we got out of the restaurant, another piece of action was awaiting us. We saw this man on his knee proposing to his girlfriend! That stopped us in our track. There was total silence all round and I was rather amused as everyone was nodding their head together with her in acceptance.

On the 2nd and 3rd day, we did a bit of sight-seeing and I managed to stash. Just a little as I was planning to do more damage in Paris.

We left for Paris by Eurostar on 17 June and stayed at this 2-star hotel called Emeraude Hotel d'Espagne near Grands Boulevard for three nights. This is a no frills hotel as it was equipped with just the basic amenities. No air-cond nor fan and since it was real hot when we got there, we slept with the grilless windows wide open, casting our safety aside. We contended that it would be some climb for anyone since we're on the 4th floor.

Day one was a bummer in Paris as my luggage lock jammed. I was advised by the duty manager to purchase a new one immediately as the following day being a Sunday, shops are closed. As we were leaving the hotel to search for one, she further advised us not to carry our passports and credit cards. We were like, how safe is Paris? The owners of the luggage shop we went to intensified our fear with tales of how tourists were robbed and attacked. Well, it didn't stop us from doing our stuff. We went to Montmarte by the metro and this place was jam-packed with people as the summer sale was on. I managed to locate Marche St. Pierre amongst all the steep and narrow cobbled streets but left the shop with a few pieces of check linen table-cloths. I've never been a good shopper when a shop is crowded with people. Next, we climbed the stairs to get to the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur. After being forewarned by my niece, we avoided those Nigerians selling friendship bracelets on the climb up. It was worthed the climb as we got to see the whole of Paris from up here. A real spectacular sight.

Day two was dedicated solely to sight-seeing and we started out early by walking from the hotel to the Louvre. We got lost a little and only realised when the landmarks didn't seem right. I stopped a man to ask and he pointed the opposite direction. Oops, we were heading north to Montmarte rather than the south. Oh well, we got to see more of Paris this way. Lol. En route, we slowed down to check out a flea market, garden and church. Spent some time at Louvre before we took the hop-on and off bus. Since both of us had been to Paris before, we didn't get off the bus much but preferred to watch the sights from the upper deck of the bus.

Day three was my favourite day in Paris - stash shopping! We took the metro to Gare de Lyon to get to Le Bonheur des Dames at the 12th Arondissement. We were early so we checked out the other shops in this artistic viaduct until the shop opened at 10.30am. Le Bonheur des Dames is a treasure trove and I was taking my time to check out those beautiful framed pieces hung on the walls and at the display window. Here I bought a few pieces of linens, a couple of bellpulls and some charms. I did not buy any of the cross stitch kits nor charts as I was already well stocked with them. Next we went to Victoria Broad at the 10th Arondissement to check out more stash. It was a wasted trip as the lady in charge of the linens was away despite the shop opening at 1.30pm! The other 2 staff couldn't help so I walked away with only 3 skeins of Au Ver a Soie silk flosses. The rest of the day was spent shopping at Galeries Lafeyette, Printemp and Bouchara.

Stash from UK and Paris:

Cool Slideshows

Day four came and it was time to leave Paris. We travelled from Paris -Waterloo - King's Cross - Scarborough. Walter, my step-dad, was there to meet up with us at the station. Mum stayed behind to prepare for us a lobster and crab salad for tea! Yum, yum.

Scenes of Scarborough:

Cool Slideshows

The remaining time spent with Mum and Walter was like... coming home. We watched the World Cup together, cooked, talked, laughed and took long walks along the beach front. Most nights Mum would knit while I either cross-stitch 20 Flowers by Just Nan or knit the kitted scarf in a bag I bought at Liberty's. Friday nights were special as that's the night we'll go to their regular pub for drinks and dancing. Walter was pretty thrilled that my normally reserved cousin sister was good on the dance floor. He kept on nudging me to say, "that's a different side of Poh Eng I haven't seen". Still water runs deep, Walter.

Finished these projects in Scarborough:

All too soon the holidays ended and I was back to work on 24 August. After 5 weeks on flatties, it took some adjusting to be back on my high heels again. There was absolutely no time to settle in to my work as like my boss said, "I missed you so much", my pile of work was saying the same to me. You know what, I need another holiday to recuperate from this holiday.

Category: [ramblings]

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Two weeks and still counting

Just if you are wondering why I have not been blogging lately, it was due to my modem acting up. And a month at that. It could have been rectified sooner except that with no computer techy people at home, we had to rely on my DS's classmate, Kok Jin, to bail us out. Kok Jin stays less than 5 minutes away from us but now that he's twinning at U of Nottingham in Semenyih, he comes back only during the week-ends. In between building a computer from scratch for his big bro, being a filial son to his parents and preparing his course work at U, he came by today to help out. It was a pretty simple problem, something to do with the modem settings. Thank you, Kok Jin, and I'm sorry to take away your precious time from your loved ones especially when today is your birthday. Happy Birthday, Kok Jin!

In two weeks' time I'll be off to London and Paris! Yes, I'm on the Da Vinci Code trail sans Edinburgh. Nah, just kidding. I'll be 50 in June and in the hotel industry here, that's the females' retirement age. Beats me why we need to retire so early... Anyway, I have to take this one month break before I can go back to work on a contractual basis and with some leave accumulated, I have decided to spend this time with my Mum in UK. Since MAS (Malaysian Airlines) has removed the Kuala Lumpur-Manchester route, I'll be flying in to London first on 14 June. Stay 3 nights in London and hop onto the Eurostar for 2 nights in Paris before I go back to London to continue my journey up to Scarborough, Yorkshire, where Mum stays. I don't know if I'll wear my welcome off during my month stay there but I hope we'll be able to have some quality time together. Mum had her womb removed due to ovarian cancer more than a year ago and due to her age, she's still pretty weak and most times, she's in pain. I'll see if I will be able to care for her and cook her some decent meals during this short time I'm there. My step-dad, Walter, is a hopeless cook and housekeeper.

Coming to my time in London and Paris, I had been scouring for places to visit and to stash in both places on the net with what limited time I have on the office computer. In fact during this week, I had made a nuisance of myself by writing to Isabelle and AngelSan for their assistance. Both ladies were kind enough to give me some pointers despite their busy schedule, especially Isabelle who is doing her PhD. Thank you, thank you, Isabelle and San.

In the event there are some of you who read this post and who knows of some good places to visit and to shop for stash in either London or Paris, please do get in touch with me. I don't think I'll be blogging until I come back on 20 July. See you!

Category: [ramblings]

Friday, April 28, 2006

A bookmark for Lillie

A chat on the EMS Board landed with Lillie and I making a pact to do an exchange of bookmarks. Whilst we had agreed that there'll be no deadline, Lillie had stitched and sent hers off to me in early February this year. I can only fulfil my side of the bargain now. Sorry, Lillie.

Here I had stitched for Lillie one of two bookmarks by Dimensions known as "Elegant Bookmarks". As you can see, the bookmark is densely packed with stitches to bring out the flowers, some done in half stitches. The top and bottom is more or less a repeat in the design though they face opposite directions. The border (and this is what I like best of this bookmark) has a lacy effect due to the rendering of the backstitches. On the reverse, I had left it rather plain with just a monogram by Sajou bearing Lillie's initial. With both pieces cut to matching size and backs facing, I had joined them with the zig-zag feature of my machine. I then stringed three of the floss colours used in the design through the top middle of the bookmark, twisted them to form a cord, knotted it and this is the end result.

Category: [cross stitch]

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I've Got Mail

Mr. Postman was kind to me yesterday for he delivered not one but two envelopes.

The first envelope was from Natty, my SBEBB Spring Exchange partner. Natty has stitched these bunnies in monochrome. She finished it off with a matching ribbon and a nice floral print border. I believe its something I can hang up for there's a ribbon loop. I can't be sure but perhaps Natty can enlighten me on this. The whole project was hand-stitched. Very neat and pretty. She has generously packed in a skein each of hand-dyed floss from Six Strand Sweets and Dragon Floss together with a couple of postcards. The postcards were of Kent, England where Natty lives. Thank you, Natty.

The other envelope was my Collaboration Pack ordered through The Dye Is Cast. The theme this time is Scentual Pleasure. The 5 participating dyers have each thrown in a free chart and I do see myself stitching some of them. What thrills me is the calico (or is it canvas) bag the goodies were packed in. Already I have some ideas on how to dress it up. Oh, there was a packet of wildflower mix too. I don't know if they'll germinate at all here in the tropics but I do know that I don't have green fingers. No harm trying though for miracles do happen.

Category: [cross stitch]

Friday, April 07, 2006

Spring Exchange

Now that it has reached its destination, I share with you here the Spring Tulip I'd stitched for Svenja from Germany, my spring exchange partner at SBEBB. The pattern for this was taken from April 2004 JCS and finished off as an eyeglasses case.

Stitching this piece represents many firsts. Its the first time I'd stitched a project of mine on linen. I had to frog on many occasions due to mis-counting. Hey, I have to live up to my name, right? Lol. The result is that much finer than on Aida. Its my first on this BB. First time stitching over one and eagle eye Svenja noticed it on the monogram "S". Lastly, its a major first for me to finish this off as something. To-date, the only other piece that I had finished off was a bookmark but that was easy piecey. I thought I had it all figured out when I chose this design as the finishing instructions were given. But, no Siree, I had to do it differently. However, the few lessons of sewing I had, paid its dues as I managed. Not that neat a finish but can lah, huh?

Along with this eyeglasses case, I've enclosed some little goodies: a wine jacket with a Chinese knot scrunchy to go over the wine jacket (like a necktie round a collar); writing papers depicting our Malaysian lifestyles, a veneer bookmark of our traditional baju kebaya and some floss in Svenja's favourite colour - red.

Enjoy and remember me when you use them, Svenja!

Category: [cross stitch]

Monday, March 27, 2006

My baby is home!

In fact, she's been home some time except I have not been able to scan it till now. Don't you think she's a stunner!

I fell in love with these teapots designed by Mary Engelbreit the moment I first laid eyes on them. They are so refreshingly vibrant. It was easy picking them as my theme for my first ever RR.

This is a well travelled RR. It had been to Australia, USA, England, Belgium, Italy and now back to Malaysia. It has one more stop to make before I can display it at my dining room and that's to the framer. My baby will be home for good then.

Before I close this chapter on my RR, I must put in writing my thanks and appreciation to my 5 partners of this RR. There were no hitches in meeting our deadlines and each of us were truly determined to see that this RR is a success. To Heather, Patty, Karen, Sabine and Laura, a big "TERIMA KASIH (thank you)" to you. You have all contributed to an heirloom which I will always treasure!

Category: [cross stitch]

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Back to School?

Well, sort of. I'll be resuming my Chinese brush painting tomorrow but first thing first. I have to make sure that my art supplies are all intact.

Brushes? Check. In fact I'm happy the way they are hanging pretty now on the brush stand given to me by my niece's BF. Its not only for aesthetic reason that brushes are hung this way but that this willl prevent water from logging at the brush head and dislodging itself from the handle. Can' t bring the stand along for lesson so I'll make do with this bamboo holder.

Rice paper? Right, I'll need to cut them to different shapes and sizes. Some squares, circles, fan shapes, rectangles perhaps... Check.

Paints? They are as dry and cracked up as I am! Haha... but not difficult to remedy as all I need to do is to pour in enough water and stir till its back to a constituency of double cream again. Yucks! I can see that the white and brown paints have gone mouldy and this could be due to the fact that I had added in water that's not too clean the last time. Hmm, I may have taken the short-cut of adding water from the pail where I washed my brushes. Check? Check.

My porcelain palette and black ink are intact so it's check and check.

Now, I'm off to practise on my last lesson so I have some homework to pass up.

Category: [chinese brush painting]

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I'm 7 Gypsies?

I nicked this from Laura's blog and here's what Quizilla has to say of me:

7 Gypsies

You are 7 GYPSIES paper!
Oh la are sophisticated and enjoy fine

wine and a candlelight dinner. You envision

travelling the world someday. Your scrapbook

pages are elegant and well thought out.

Which Scrapbooking Paper Collection Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Category: [ramblings]

The End.