Friday, May 28, 2010

the midnight needle & thread...

I wish I could have as much free time to draft, cut and sew at anytime of the day. To be able to have a moment here and there and sew to my heart's content. I'd plan a morning or an afternoon but the reality of it all is the stroke of midnight is the time for me. 

It's the quiet and there's a stillness to the night, the kids are asleep and I can turn that sewing machine on. The gentle hum of the machine, a loose thread to cut, and pin to remove.... 

I recently bought this lovely floral print with the thought of making a bag for a birthday gift for a good friend of mine. I had drafted and cut this bag last weekend and saved it for some spare sewing time during my late hours of the night. My aim was to get it done by Tuesday and surprise my friend, Claudina with this handbag, but as always our place has been plagued with frequent blackouts caused by the heavy rainfall. My sewing time had to wait till the next day! 

I finally got it ready and then realise that I didn't have the magnetic button to finish the bag. No problem I'll just get it tomorrow.... the next day....No magnetic button anywhere!! I searched all my usual sewing suppliers and nothing at all, even my supplier, Mr Wong who has every single button in the world wouldn't be able to get his magnetic buttons until next month. Is there a hoarder of magnetic buttons somewhere out there? Has someone else been bitten by the bag bug?

I had to do something to make this bag close up. I had to use a button fastener instead.  It worked!!! Much better than I expected to and it looked good too. I really hope she likes it.

Jacob the Super Boy modelling my latest bag!

This was another bag I just finished last night. It was a bit of a challenge for me with this bag. You see I use to make dresses for friends long time ago and out of habit I have always kept any little bits of spare material. Always thinking to save a bit to make something else one day. 

It wasn't very much material to start off with, so I drafted a simple centre pleated bag and give it a rounded edge instead of going for a tote bag look. I wanted it to have a girlie look to it because I'm hoping to give it to a little girl as a sort of belated birthday gift. 

It had to be big enough to be used as a bag but small sized for a little girl to hang on her shoulders. A last bit of material was used for a bow and I had to hand sew that onto the pocket of the bag.... Finished!! My little pink girlie bag!


I think Jacob wants to keep this small bag for himself!

Over To You @ Warsaw Mommy

A couple of weeks ago Michelle @ Warsaw Mommy asked me to guest blog for her "Over To You" on Tuesday, where she features guest bloggers blogging about their personal "expat experience". I was really flattered to be asked to be her guest blog for her and to be added to her list of other guest bloggers like:

Over To You’ Tuesdays – Badger in Vienna

‘Over To You’ Tuesdays – Lulu In Chiba, Japan 

‘Over To You’ Tuesday (On Wednesday) – ‘J’ in Warsaw, Poland 

‘Over To You’ Tuesday (On Wednesday) – ‘T’ from Warsaw "

Warsaw Mommy is another mummy just like me! Far away removed from the place she was born, fallen in love with a wonderful man from Poland and raising her two beautiful young boys (Max & Alex) in an environment with a foreign language and culturally different from her own home in Canada. She is a blogger with a heart full of love for her boys and just  being a great mum, living a fun full life with all the usual mummy challenges throw into it. So please drop by and have a read, a laugh and best of all a smile!

... and now it's my turn to join her "Over To You" Tuesdays"

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pre loved-inherited or thrift-ed

For this week's My Place & Yours @ Hello Owl  ...

This weeks Theme Queen is Zoe from over at A Boys Mummy and she has chosen Pre loved-inherited or thrift-ed as this weeks theme.

This dining table and chairs were given to me by my aunt when I moved over to Malaysia. It was her old dining set and it's made out of rotan (similar to bamboo), very appropriate for our tropical look, comes with 6 chairs and I just love it.

I bought these plates at an auction and it was a real bargain. Shangri-La Resort was refurnishing and selling off old and never used crockery to make way for new stuff. I managed to get a set of 20 dinner plates and pasta bowls all for about RM60+ which would be about AU$20 and the best thing is that it's Villeroy & Boch.  I only wish I got there earlier to buy more.

This was another bargain at the same auction. Schott Zwiesel lead crystal wine goblets from Germany! I bought 2 crates (36 goblets) of these and I found out that they were new. I really don't know what the auctioneer was thinking when they were valuating the items for auction but I can't wait for the next auction.

This chair was originally designed by my sister-in-law and it was passed down to my brother-in-law and eventually passed to my husband. It's solid wood and it took 3 people to carry up to our apartment. It's an unusal piece but it seems to suit this corner quite well. I have to add some plush cushions and then it will look better.

I'm not too sure if the cat counts but he was from a litter of kittens that my aunt rescued. He was pre-loved by my aunt but she just had too many cats to take care of. His name is Sakura and he's a strange cat who loves taking showers, doesn't miaow too much and walks on a leash.

The world in 3D

In our little corner of the world we were hit with an amazing vision of sight, well all in 3D and loving it! Despite the gloomy afternoon monsoon rains and almost predictable blackouts at my place, I got the chance to see a bit of flashy technology and best of all I got to go out and watch a real movie in a real movie cinema!

Shrek Forever and After in 3D!

Hubby surprised us all when he went out to buy early tickets for the opening of the new cinema that just opened on Thursday. 4 tickets to see the latest Shrek movie for Friday night and it was a nice end to finish off the week of school exams for the kids. I couldn't have asked for more but there was a catch to it .... we had to find a baby sitter for Jacob.

I haven't been without Jacob in awhile and he's been joined to the hip with me these days, only occasionally going out with his dad from some quick errands but otherwise he's been my little shadow.   I think the last time I really left him was with my mum back in Sydney when we had a night out on one of those rare times. Before that I use to leave him with his godmother every Thursday gym day but that was last year and I haven't hit the gym since ... but I still managed to lose weight running after him!

I always get worried and feel a bit guilty whenever I have to get the kids babysat. I'll call back to check on them and forever wonder what they are up to, are they behaving themselves, are they ok and or are they being little monsters while I'm away. I wonder what they are like when I'm not there? Just my mummy worries I guess.

So, on the day of the movies I asked his godmother if she would be able to look after him while we watched the movie. We were in luck and she was free that night, the movie was on for me. Shrek here I come!

I got Jacob ready, packed his bag and toys and told him where he was going not that he could say anything to me. He's still not the talker just yet but I'm was pretty sure he understood. I suppose he was just as excited to be going out again, twice today with our afternoon school pick ups and now an outing at night. I wonder what he was thinking?

We got to his godmother's house and still none of the tears and cries that I had expected. He opened up his arms to his godmother without a fuss and looked at me with smile. Did he know mummy was going away? I didn't even want to say goodbye but he beat me to it. A little wave from him... he waved to me.

Not five minutes out of the drive way did I sms to check how he was doing. Is he ok? Did he cry? Not a tear in his eyes. I'll have to check on him again later.

3 hours later and the best time in a long time. Shrek was a really good laugh and quite a show with the 3D effects. I really enjoyed it and so did the rest of the family.... no spoilers here! 

We went to pick Jacob up and as soon as I got to the door, he was there with open arms. No tears again just a tight little hug from my little boy. What was I worried about? He was fine and seemed to have a good time away. I guess I haven't realised how much he's grown up and just so fast. He's just growing before my eyes.... time for another movie?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A week gone past....

I didn't mean to leave. I didn't go away. I did in fact got a bit distracted by.....

  • the monsoon rains, our 4pm on the dot full blown rainfall, drops of endless water just going down the drain .... the kind of rain that stops everything and anything.
  • the power outages that follow those types of heavy bucketful of rain and it only happens in this part of the world!
  • and then the outages that make us even madder ... the telephone line has gone down once again. Does this ever end?
  • and the worst of it ..... after a day or two of a dead dial tone did I discover a crucial part to all of this .....
 I forgot to pay for the internet!!!!

I was really getting a bit peeved off with this almost predictable pattern of blackouts and telephone lines getting nowhere. I'm suppose to live a city but I guess sometimes we just take it for granted all how much we rely on the power that keeps us alive and connected in this world. It's just another reminder to show how much this place has grown and how much we need to catch up with this population growth. It's just so annoying but maybe it's just me. On the other hand, the kids like to get out the candles and light them up and it's a great excuse to get out in the car and go for a drive! 

I was getting really annoyed about it all. It happened twice this week and it usually goes on for about an hour at a time. The funny thing about it is that it only seems to happen in our electrical grid. You see the lights would be out on this side of the block but the other side is all lit up. Can you believe that? And worst of all the telephone line goes down too! But this time I realised that I hadn't checked the internet bill. How silly was that!

So anyway, it wasn't all of a lost. I did get to watch a movie on Friday night, 3D Shrek with the kids. It was a blast and the kids had so much fun. We even got Jacob a babysitter and that was the best thing about it all .... I could finally watch a real movie at a real movie cinema!

I also got to finish my homemade pasta run. Fettucini, Tortelini and Ravioli! All made by hand. I've always wanted to make them and I did it. I now have today and tomorrow to finish posting them on my foodie blog. So much to catch up on this weekend.

And the best thing of all this week, I managed to finish a promise to a friend ... over to you and I hope it works out. I'm just so sorry it took so long.....

Friday, May 14, 2010

FYBF and Happy Bloggers without Makeup Day

Yes it's that time again Flog Your Blog Friday over at Brenda's MummyTime and to add extra spice to our Friday it's also Happy Bloggers Without Makeup Day inspired by Jodie @ Mummy Mayhem.

Blogging in the nude, in the buff and all so natural!!!!... well not really just the face today!

Gosh...this is my at home face, the one I wake up to the world with, the one the kids and hubby see. I don't really wear that much makeup just a bit of lippy, some eye shadow and a lashing of mascara but only on days that I can be bothered to dress up. 

I am a SAHM and sometimes you just get lost in the "Homey" look and there's little attention to the glamour look when you're faced with a 17 month old who likes to slobber when he plants a kiss on my cheeks. But today my hubby asked me to join him for a late breakfast at our coffee corner and so I actually got dressed up... plucked my eyebrows this morning .... painted my face with eyeshadow and some lipstick. Yep I was out on the town today!

So anyway when I got home and read MummyTime's FYBF, I washed my face and here I am. No makeup! That's me!

Come and support Jodie @ Mummy Mayhem and all those other natural beauties. Show the world what real women are all about and join us.

A favourite T-shirt ... cut, stitch and a new bag

I think I've been bitten by the "HangBag Bug"! I've been thinking of handbags designs trying to get some inspiration when I was tidying up my room and came across my daughter's T-shirt. 

I took it out and wondered what could I do with it. Could I possibly make something from it? Would it look too much like a T-shirt? How about a sling bag?..... I wonder if she'll noticed I used her T-shirt!!!

A favourite T!

What do you do with it?? You cut it up and hope your daughter doesn't mind your creative deconstruction....

A stretchy "New" handbag!!! 


This weeks theme over at Hello Owl’s My Place and Yours  is proud adj. , prouder , proudest . Feeling pleasurable satisfaction over an act, possession, quality, or relationship by which one measures one's.

It's just a small sewing corner but it's made my sewing projects so much better. I've neglected for a year and a bit since my old sewing machine died but it's come back to life with the new Janome and I'm just so proud to have it back.

I can now sit here and sew to my heart's content but only when the baby sleeps. 

Oh the mirror actually doesn't really service any purpose except to reflect the TV!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You are My Sunshine Award

One of the first things I did when I got back online today was to check my email and I found a comment  from Melissa @ Suger Coat It on my Mother's Day post and something for me on her blog about a surprise.  I was naturally curious to see what she had written as it's been a pretty disconnected time for me over the past few days with my crazy internet connection.

I opened up the tab to find that she had given me her personally designed 

............ The You are my Sunshine ~ Supportive Commenter Award.

I was so surprised and it really brought a smile to my face:) and I was truly touched that she thought of awarding me with her award. Me? Wow!.... and better yet she actually designed this award!!! 

I really enjoy reading Melissa's blog Suger Coat It, she's a fun loving person who always seems to see the brighter sweeter side to life. She blogs about her life and is an amazing link to other interesting blogs out there.... if it's out there she's sharing it all with us! Such a joy to read and great photos too but most of all she's makes you smile after a good read and you just can't help but want to know more about how she can suger coat your life too!... and she also has this great Colours of Friday feature which appears on Friday, of course!!!

And so I've been given this award (thanks again!!) but first I must tell you how much a supportive comment means to me. 

I started writing this blog as a spinoff from my other blog Simply About Life, where I blog about food and recipes and this side of the island is more of a personal blog about me and my family. I blog to write about things that are going in my life, or just anything that I feel like sharing. I blog to get it out there but not necessary for the purpose of having it read by everyone but when you're having a good or bad day and someone makes a supportive comment it's like someone else reaching out to you..... I know what your going through kind of thing. It's a connection that identifies you with that reader. It maybe from a follower or just someone who shares that very same feeling you when you posted that blog. I may not know you or I do but when that someone comments and cares enough to say something it acknowledges you... it matters and I'm happy to share that connection.

I also blog for my family back in Sydney to keep in touch and let them know I what's happening in this part of the woods or island. My mum and sister read this blog and even though my mum might not comment she'll be right on the phone talking about something I've written or Skyping to catch up with the grandkids.

There's a few things that I have to do before I can receive this award. Here are the rules. It's simple really. Tell us WHY you love comments and pass it on and congratulate the proud new owners...

I would like to pass this award to the following people who have made those special comments that made my day warmer and brighter...

Michelle @ Warsaw Mommy

Kristin @ Wanderlust

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My On/Off Relationship with Mr T....

I thought I was the one
When you came calling at my door
You gave me that first signal
Like a bright flicker of lights
Each time we connected it was bliss
An hour or two
Late at night or anytime of the day
But then you took it away
No warning, No nothing
So cold
Then just like a tease 
You came back into my life
How long will it last?
How can this be?
Here one moment, gone the next
My mysterious Mr T.....

..... dedicated to my love/hate relationship with Mr T (aka Telekom Malaysia) for all the heartache and frustrations I've had over the past few days!!!!!

It may have been the heavy rainfall over the weekend or the storm that blew out the powerline and left us in the dark for an hour OR just my ever reliable laptop but I've been in a rollercoaster of highs and lows since last Friday. At first I thought it was the laptop and I ran all the tests I could find and then my iPod was playing up too. Slow connection .... just turn off the switch and try again. I tried and it worked for awhile but then it would start all over again. No connection!

I was lucky a few times to be able to read a few of my fav blogs and do a bit of blogging but it just got too frustrating in the end. I couldn't even write in my Mother's Day post for my mum until 2 days later. No Skype to chat on too! and running behind on some promised blogging for a friend.

Could it be my spell of bad luck started when Jacob broke my glasses.... I was beginning to think so. Don't they all happen in 3s???!!!
  1.  Broken glasses = Bad luck (checked)
  2.  On/Off internet line = Bad luck (checked)
  3.  Blackout = Bad luck (checked)

But then I realised that this weekend wasn't so bad. The time I usually dedicated to Mr T was spent making a carrot cake with the kids for Mother's Day. 

Making another handbag for Ashley.... and one for her cousin Chiara too.

Followed Claudia's Italian Bread recipe and kneaded the dough and made crusty bread. 

Even trying out a new recipe to go with the bread.

Made time for a Choc break with some Chocolate Pudding!!

And made hubby and Ashley make the Peach Crumble for his mum!!! My day off from the kitchen.

So I guess a little time away from the internet wasn't too bad and a blessing in disguise I suppose. I had a great time with the kids in the kitchen and was delighted that I made my daughter's day with a new handbag and got my cooking revenge on my hubby. 

...... Thanks Mr T for bringing me quality time with the family but please don't leave me on the line just waiting for your call. You left me very angry and frustrated and gave me no choice but to make THAT call to your office today. I told them all about you and the feelings I had for you and now everyone knows.... I even told hubby.... but he knew all along it was you..... you sent your men and patched things up.....and now you've come back again.....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Mother's Love.....

First of all I'd like to wish all wonderful Mothers around the world a 

Happy Mother’s Day

I know I'm a little late on this one but after a weekend free from computers and lack of an internet line I'm back with my belated wish for all mothers, grandmothers and special people in our lives who deserve a special day of appreciation.

A special day where we can say:
  • thank you for all the encouragement you gave me and seeing that I could be something better than I ever thought I could be
  • for your honesty, support, laughter, patience, beauty and love you have given me all my life
  • for reminding me that I am loved no matter what
  • for knowing just what to say and when I needed to hear your words of wisdom
  • for letting me learn from my mistakes and helping me pick up the pieces
  • for being the daughter I am because of you
  • and for showing me just how great a mum can be.....

 I love you mum

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    I can see clearly now.....not

    I guess the late nights and warm humid days have been catching up with me lately. After a day out doing some errands around the city and having a restless bubs in the car I found myself completely exhausted and just flat out.

    .....I needed sleep so desperately!!!  Zzzzzzzzzzz

    Having finally arrived home, I quickly made dinner and got the kids showered and finally it was time for Jacob to go to sleep. So as routines go I got him ready for bed and had a little lie down time with him just to get him to fall a sleep......mmm the dishes can wait!

    The next morning I was woken up by Jacob gently nudging me. I thought how sweet he's actually waking up on his own without having a his morning cry. WRONG!

    I woke up to be handed over this....

    A clean break. Completely broken off and there was no way it could be fixed.

    I must have dozed off while I put him to sleep and just never woke up again until he decided that it was time to tell mummy that he had done something wrong. I can only remember holding my glasses in my hand and thinking that I'd take a quick nap before I tackled the dinner dishes. Big mistake......

    I think he must have woken up and found my glasses with it's spring expandable frame and just started to do a little arm exercises with it. SNAP!!! Time to wake up mummy!

    Shock came to mind when I first saw it and panic after that because I'm pretty blind without them. How am I going to see? What am I going to tell hubby? For sure his answer would be "I told you so". I've never listened to him about putting it away. I'm usually good with things like this and put them high up away from harms reach but it was only this one time.

    I asked Jacob why did he do it? Like he could tell me anyway.. He just looked at me, wide eyed and I knew he realised something was wrong. No need to say anything else. He had a guilty cry and buried his face in the pillow and went back to sleep.

    I guess I could look at this as a trend in my kids. How do I know this? Well all 3 of them have done it and with all too similar outcomes.

    1. Ashley aged 18 months decided that my glasses were in bad need of a make-over and sat on them giving a them a rather rolled over effect, flat as a pancake appeal. 
    2. Tristan aged 2 years used my glasses for his artistic expression and remoulded them into a wire mess.
    3. Jacob aged 16 months .... just made a clean snap of things.
    What does this tell me? My children are very concerned about my wellbeing.... apparently I no longer required any visual aids and they have the power of healing. Through a little magic of the hand Mummy can see clearly now!!

    I'll be going to the optometrist tomorrow and in the mean time I'll be struggling with my old  pair of glasses that I managed to dig up from the deeps of my drawers.

    .... perhaps it's time to start using lens again!

    Flog Your Blog#10 Lucky Brenda is in Shanghai! Looking forward to seeing and hearing all about her trip. Anyway it's that time again so join in FYBF!

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Your favourite spot in the house.

    This week’s theme over at Hello Owl’s My Place and Yours is: 

    Your favourite spot in the house.

    That would have to be the cabinet in my living room. It's an assortment of favourite photos, trinkets, little handicrafts the kids made .... just really odds and ends that I've collected over the years. Each piece telling a story of our lives, a special moment, a milestone....

    Fly away little butterfly....

    It's been sometime since I last sewed something and about time. I didn't know how much I missed creating something from scratch. A few bits of left over material from long ago and with a few snips and needle and thread...a handbag for Ashley.

    I've been talking endlessly about going back to sewing but it's been just too long and now that I have my new sewing machine I don't know why I hesitated so long. It was ready waiting all this time and I only needed to clean up the sewing cabinet... not a task I was looking forward to at all!

    Too many bits and pieces, old strands of thread and the odd button. How long ago did I use this! 

    Anyway, I went through my hoards of fabric and found this piece left over from a smocked dress I had made for someone's daughter. A beautiful butterfly design with gold writing from the US, nice and thick enough for a bag. Another piece of greeny brown cotton drill from a cushion and there was the lining!

    I played around with the design of the bag so I could fit in a pocket for a phone.

    Added a zipper to close the bag and a few box pleats.

    I just hope Ashley likes it!

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Away for the Weekend...

    This weekend I was away from the kitchen spending some quality time with my dad and sampling some local delights. 

    A walk to the local Central Market & Fish Market to have a look at what the fishing boats brought in that morning.....

    Fresh Garouper, Rock Cod, Red Snapper, Parrot Fish and some Flounder.

    Fresh Crabs... all different sizes and some lalas.

    Dried ikan bilis (anchovies) & dried chillies.

    An assortment of dried fish all different varieties and sizes.

    Sea Cucumbers...

    Dried, sea cumber, scallops, prawns, fish maw, squid & ikan bilis.

    Yep... It's mango season!

    A weekend full of food... steamed tofu, deep fried intestines (I didn't eat this!), fish porridge, tempura, pork tonkatsu, tom yum fish & prawns, fish noodle soup (lots of thickly sliced garouper, fish cake!), kit chai ping (preserved plum and fresh lime iced cold), sashimi and sushi.

    Jacob enjoying a bowl full of handmade noodles and having a treat of sesame seed ice cream.... mmmm yum!



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