Monday, November 29, 2010

Polly Dolly - Naughty & Nice

It's Polly Dolly time again! I've missed so many and I'm so happy to get back into this great theme challenge created by Danimezza.

This week's theme challenge is Naughty & Nice. The end of the year is almost here and Christmas is around the corner. What would I wear to all those parties?

Naughty & Nice

A little bit of black and red is just the mix for a bit of naughtiness. I love the wrap- around look of this strapless dress, the ripples adds alot of texture to the dress. High High heels of course and I've got to doll it up with some flowers in my hair. How could I forget my red handbag....small and compact to dance the night away.

The light feel of cool white in the dress is perfect with a gold belt to make it just nice! The brown hobo goes well with my sandles. Sunnies, a starry hairband and butterflies complete my look for something that's nice but not naughty.

Things that make you smile

This morning I woke up and had a look through my emails and I got a pleasant surprise when I read a comment notification from Khristian A. Howell, High Society Fabrics designer for Anthology fabrics!!! I was so happy to receive this encouragement and equally pleased that she liked my bags with her beautiful fabrics at my This Side Of The Island Shop.

Here's the comment:

Your bag is fantastic! Thank you for choosing High Society Fabrics! It would be great if you would add your work to the High Society Flickr pool! Happy holidays!

Khristian A. Howell

I love her beautiful fabrics and can't wait to see what she has next installed to all of us:)

Just click HERE for more info on Khristian A. Howell's designs.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

All Handmade

Dahlia Bag/ Hobo Bag

Dahlia Bag/ Hobo Bag

This is my latest collection called the Dahlia Bag, it's a medium size hobo that is fun, functional and stylish for any occasion. I took a while to draft up this pattern taking in mind that I wanted to make it out of 3 fat quarters and it worked. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it turned out to be a very roomy bag that could function as my everyday bag. I managed to use it as a diaper too with all of Jacob's things. 

I thought of making it for just myself but I've decided to sell a few on Etsy at my new online shop This Side Of The island@ Etsy

I've also opened up a new blog This Side Of The Island Shop or with all my shop goodies, so please have a look around. I'll be posting new bags each week to pop over often to check what's new.

The bag was designed to be roomy enough for an everyday bag, diaper bag,  It is pleated bag that is very roomy and has an inner pocket big enough for an iPhone and additional phone/iPod/small compact camera, a swivel clip for your key and is reinforced with a magnetic snap.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A birthday party to remember

This week seems to be one whole week of celebrations; a hawian themed birthday party, a glamour birthday party and a birthday party to celebrate the big day. All these three big celebrations are not for three different people but for one lovely lady who has reached a big milestone in anyone's lifetime..... the big 80!

Happy 80th Birthday

happy birthday

This week we had a chance to celebrate my hubby's aunty Junee's 80th birthday and her family went all out to show her how much she has meant to them and just a big celebration of her life. 

80 that's a real achievement for anyone and especially for someone who is still so full of life and enjoying every moment of it. She dances regularly and seems to lead an active life with lots of loving grandkids. I'm not sure how she does it with so much energy but I have to say I hope to be just a like her if I ever get to reach that age.

She's not the only one turning the big 80 this year, alot of other special people this year have reached that age... my dear YehYeh (grandfather in chinese) and my mother-in-law celebrated their big 80 as well. My grandfather is still just as active as before and not letting his diabetes or his non-driving status get him down. He's almost always out with my grandmother visiting friends by hoping on the bus or train. Nothing seems to stop him and he's still a passionate cook with a true love of family dinners with a spread of food worthy of a first class restaurant. I really miss his cooking! My mother-in-law is also a woman with alot to love for the family and has live through so much in her life so far. Raising a big family of 8 and a grandmother of over 20 plus grandkids to dote on her. 

So to the 80s kids of this year..... Happy Birthday and now lets celebrate again with another party this Friday night with good food, dancing and lots of birthday cake!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


This week's theme  at Polly Dolly is:



A beautiful bright colour to really put a smile on your face. Yellow to me is summer, the beach and happiness. 

I had a little help from my fashionable daughter with this week's theme and Ashley has a real sense of style with her choices. I love that dress and the belt was a real good idea and that bag is lovely. I'm inspired to make something like this for my daughter for this up coming wedding we have next weekend. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mini Pocket Pouch and a little cherry blossom.

I have this really bad habit where I almost always forget where I've placed my phone. It's on the book shelf, the dressing table, my desk, under my pillow, in a pocket somewhere or in my soundproof handbag. I just can't keep track of it and when I do find it I've usually missed 1 or 2 calls. It's not intentional or anything it's just that I'm a very forgetful kind of person when it comes to my phone.....oh and my iTouch as well!

It's these two things that can take up most of my time just looking for them. So for today's sewing I decided to make a mini pocket pouch to try and keep them together.... or at least they have a chance at getting lost at the same time but at least they'll be "lost" in the same spot. 

My Mini Pocket Pouch has just enough space for my phone and iTouch. I gave it a bit of padding to keep in safe from those accidental falls and a detachable cord so that I can hang it up somewhere. It's nice and snug and it has a velcro tab to keep it in place. 

I used a piece of batik that looked big enough to fit everything and just sewed along the width of the fabric and inserted the foam. Once the foam was in I sewed up the edges and put velcro on the tab for the closure. On the left hand side I put in an large eyelet but seeing I haven't got the eyelet setter yet I managed to still put it in place without it being squashed out of shape. It worked and the hook snaps nicely into place.

So now that I've made this pouch I'm really hoping I don't have to keep looking for it. It should be much easier to keep track unless Jacob decides to hide it which he often does.

I also made this little cherry blossom to add onto my phone cord to replace the cat that came off it a couple of months ago. It's pretty simple to make. Just using a round piece of  fabric and stuff with filling to make a ball and then using some DMC thread shape the ball into a cherry blossom and attach to the phone cord.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Snap Snap Snap

I recently ordered my latest sewing gadget and it came in the mail a few  weeks ago. I have been looking forward to using them but it was just waiting to find the right project to test them out. So this is it my snap fastener tool set and a snap button set. 

So to test them out I sewed up this evening clutch in my red kimono fabric and matched it up with a floral snap. The tools didn't come with any instructions so I had to go back to the website to figure out how to use it. 

So basically you use the puncher to make a hole in the fabric and you have to use a hammer for this. Make the hole and place the top part of the button (the one with the pattern) in the hole. Turn it upside down and place the snap part of the button and use the other tool to flatten the inner part of the snap button so that it sets in and permanently stays in place. On the under part of the other fabric make a hole and place the longer snap into the hole and place the cover on the other side and using the domed tool hammer it in to set it. .... sounds easy... if you take the steps one by one it will all follow through.

And this is what it should look like. All snap buttons in place and ready to snap away.

This is the Red Kimono Clutch with a snap button.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Little Dancing Feet

This year these been a few more family and friends have little baby girls and I've been meaning to make them something. I had in mind to make a baby bag or a little dress but I thought I'd start this off by making baby shoes for those little baby feet. 

My friend Angeline has a gorgeous 10month old girl and I recently caught up with her at a friend's wedding and tomorrow I'll be seeing her again once again at another wedding tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to seeing her beautiful Mia and I've made her something special for her first few steps.

These are my little creations and I'll be putting similar ones on my upcoming Etsy shop. I'm thinking of calling the line Mia's Dancing Shoes. 

Floral Denim Dancing Shoes

Kimono Red Dancing Shoes

I managed to sew my label this time I usually forget. Oh and those lovely little legs are Jacob's feet. He was a bit upset that I had made shoes but not in his size!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Foodbuzz: Project Food Blog Challenge

I've just submitted my entry in Foodbuzz: Project Food Blog Challenge for my foodie blog Simply About Life and I'm hoping to move onto the next 10 weeks of food, food, food and a whole lot of blogging for this food lover's competition. It's a week by week challenge set up to encourage us to go further and beyond in our foodie adventures. Each week the list of contestants get voted to move onto the next week so I'm hoping to do just that with a little bit of help .... so please read my blog and vote for me HERE.(voting will start on 20th September)

I'm a lover of good food and love to cook for family and friends. A stay-at-home mum with a tough job of trying to please my three foodie critics (sometimes a very vocal but well meaning bunch) each with different palates and varying opinions about what is good food. I cook for fun, creativity.... a smuggled vegie here and there, a short-order cook at times for the hungry with a 24hr all you can eat special and lastly with imagination.... with whatever is in the fridge and pantry but to me it's an opportunity to just cook for those I love the most. 

So here's my post from Simply About Life. Challenge#1: Ready, Set, Blog Post. 

Foodbuzz is all about foodies and it's a food lover's community which has launched a food blogging contest called Project Food Blog and they're looking for the next Food Blog Star and I have decided to give it a go and enter it.
What is Project Food Blog? This contest will consist of a series of 10 weekly challenges with contestants being systematically eliminated after each round. The challenges are set out to encourage us to go further and beyond in our foodie adventures and the winner will receive a $10,000 grand prize. So far there have been over 1800 entries and this very first challenge only 400 will move onto the next challenge. So here's Challenge#1....
Challenge #1: Ready, Set, Blog! What defines you as a food blogger and why you think you have what it takes to be the next food blog star?

Where has the time gone? I've been blogging since... oh I have to check this again, um since... March 2010 says my profile. I started out blogging for fun and to try to get back into writing or at least some form note taking to account for the things that I've been up to up until now with being a stay-at-home mum and looking after my three kids and trying to deal with different tastes and varying appetites during all hours of the day.

My biggest foodie critics.

I having an active almost 2 year old who eats just about everything all except peas, which he would pick up from his plate and flick over all areas of the house. I don't think he registers them as food and will hide them all over the house if he could. He seems to take alot of joy out of aiming them at our dear old cat, Sakura but lucky without any fatal shots. I have another son who eats anything with cheese, ham and his favourite .... chicken wings at all times of the day and almost nothing else. A very fussy eater but I'm hoping that will change someday so I try very hard to offer him different foods to tempt his taste buds. And lastly I have a daughter who grew out of her almost all meat diet to being an adventurous eater daring to try out new dishes and now loves her vegies. When she was younger and before she started school she was a very good eater with all her food and wasn't fussy at all... that was until she started school and that all changed when they were given cooked meals at lunch. She was a smart little cookie when delegating who would get her vegies and everything else she didn't like. I guess eating vegetables wasn't the "in" thing at kindergarten but I'm glad it's all changed. So with these three people at home I have the task of trying to get them to eat a balanced meal and I try my best to serve up my style of homecooking. It's a mix of what the kids like to eat and what the adults like to eat, sometimes I  have to compromise with a smuggled vegetable and spices here and there but it all seems to work. 

The food.

My blog is about the food we love to eat, some favourites and some new creations I've stumbled upon that just work well but all of them are foodie adventures that I want to share with anyone who loves food and family. My food is about trying to make a meal that's simple, good and quick to make. They are easy to follow not too complicated, some that have been handed to me from my grandmother... a treasured secret to share and some that have been family staples that have gotten us through the week. I'm always looking out for something to try out or something that evokes a foodie moment from when I first realised my love for good food. I guess you could say food in our family is always about comfort and that's the best kind of food. A meal that is shared and one that gives you that warm "comfy" feeling all homecooking from a mum's kitchen. As a mum the best compliments are the smiles from the people you love and hearty request for "Mum, can you make this again. I can eat this all the time." or the best compliment so far is from the almost 2 year old... "More?" 

The best compliment...
just a little bit "more" and a quick snooze!

I'm not a trained chef or cook but it's been more of an "on the job" sort of training with a lot of trials and errors.... split gravy, burnt casseroles, smoking volcano cakes and many more misadventures which have lead me down this path. What has kept me going is my passion for food and passing it on to my kids with the hope that they will learn about good food, the love of creating meal and the known pleasure that a shared meal amongst family and friends are one of the simplest and most rewarding feeling a foodie adventurer can have.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This week's theme over at Polly Dolly is What would your Dolly wear in: 



It's been a while but doesn't every girl like a bit of dress up especially when you're dressed up in something shiny and metallic. So I'm out on the town with a shimmery metallic tote just big enough for me to fit all my goodies for the day. Not alot of colour but just a splash of pale pink on my lips. Shiny cuff and feathery earrings for a bit of glamour. A ruffled top and lovely pinstripe pants and I'm walking in my new booties!

A Work in Progress.....

What has it been? 2 weeks ago... I'm having a dryspell of words to blog. Well, actually the words are there floating around my head but putting them to type just never materialised.... a work in progress.....
7 Gypsies Disclaimer Clear Stamps Sheet |
I've been up late hours of the night thinking about the things that have to be done and what I want to make. I have this idea of making and just being creative again with my sewing and that seems to be taking up lot of my time on my own and sometimes away from what should matter the most. I guess you could say I've been a little obsessive and it's gotten the better of me.

I've really enjoyed my new adventure back into sewing and I've been thinking about setting up shop and doing something about online. You know working from home and trying to be productive outside of the household. So I've spent tons of time looking at material, measuring, drafting and it's been taking up the better hours of the morning when I should have been asleep. And so the other day it hit me that I've been consumed by this "obsession" monster and I really should just let it go for while and get back to life..... I've missed the comfort that writing has given me and it's time to get back to the other things I like to do like cooking....  ah another blog I've neglected for about 4 weeks...I still take photos but just haven't blogged about.... Foodbuzz must be noticing by now... So with that I'm determined to get these creative thoughts back to my fingertips and onto the laptop... so glad to be back:)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

31 Photos in 31 Days – August 2010 –Round Up

Last month I joined this photography challenge called "31 Photos in 31 Days: August 2010" by  and it was fun and challenging at times especially when I'd have the perfect shot for that day and I would be frantically searching my bag for my camera and .....ta dah it wasn't there! 

Most of the photos I took were about little glimpses into my daily life. The kids, food, in the car on the way to drop some one off or to pick up someone and some daily sights around the city. I guess they were just things you take for granted. 

Anyway, I managed to keep up with  30 29days out of the 31 days of August .... I wasn't feeling well on that day and couldn't get out of bed to take a photo let alone be in the mood to do it. I never thought of pulling out of the challenge so I really don't mind doing this again. Maybe I should just take a random photo everyday and post it:)

So here's a round up of all my "31 Photos in 31 Days – August 2010" –Round Up

Day 1. The monsoon rain outside my window

Day 2. Can I play with the computer?

Day 3. A strong cup of tea.

Day 4. Cornflake biscuit anyone?

Day 5. Mummy I can spell my name in my alphabet soup!

Day 6. Sakura just being a lazy cat.

Day 20..... The missing photo!!

Day 26....another missing photo..... I thought I had one 

29 photos ..... I did it!!! But I was pretty certain I had taken 30 photos I must have left it in draft. 

This is my favourite out of all of them. My two little clowns! They make so much noise around the house with laughter and just boyish fun. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

31 Photos in 31 Days – August 2010 – Day 31

Day 31. My last photo... no.31. 
I can't believe I managed to keep up with this challenge. It was fun and I would definitely join the next one. So this is me, a bit blurry but this is me the photographer of all 31 minus 1 photos for 31 Photos in 31 Days - August 2010!

31 Photos in 31 Days – August 2010 – Day 30

Day 30. The boys having fun on the bike.
My two little clowns love to have a good laugh at themselves and this time they both tried to squash themselves while riding this very smile bike. They fell over and rolled around with laughter and then it was back on the bike again!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Picking it up again.... a needle and thread

It's really been awhile since I picked up the needle and thread and thought about doing it somewhat full-time. I love to sew and when I can try to make something but these days I've been thinking alot about making handbags for myself and my daughter especially now that she's almost a teenager. There are just so many designs and come with but essentially in my case I need something that can serve the dual purpose of carrying "the kitchen sink" and hold all my other "junk"!.... no no no I meant to say all of the baby essentials like multiple change of clothes, sippy cups of juice, baby wipes, a handful of nappies and toys.... junk on the other hand are whatever is leftover space for my stuff; the lippy, phone, keys, pens, paper and purse.... but only if there is space to spare!
All my sewing studies and the books I collected. 

My sewing collection gathering some dust!

Long Long Long Ago... I took up a sewing course and learnt the pattern making, alterations, fabrics and of course some sewing tricks. I learnt to sew and then taught myself to smock dresses for my daughter when she was little. Little dresses were expensive and sometimes not worth the money so I decided to make them for Ashley. 
Some work I've been doing lately. 

It was fun to create virtually something from nothing and come up with something that was one of a kind. I bought tons of material whenever something caught my eye and I'm still finding stashes of fabric in bags and boxes around the house. I pleated my own material on my pleater, serged my own edges and sewed all hours of the day. I even started sewing for friends and eventually it became a little business. I didn't really mean it to be that way but I ended up sewing more for others and eventually my daughter grew up and went through a pants only phase. 

Eventually the sewing became less when I had my son and I did sew a few rompers, little shirts and pants for my son ..... I even sewed a business shirt for my hubby one Christmas! But nowadays I've found myself playing with the sewing machine and making handbags for myself and Ash but also making some to give away to friends. So now I've been thinking about sewing them to sell and I've been working on patterns and doing some fabric sourcing  and basically just trying to get back the confidence to sew again.

But I must say that sewing handbags is actually a whole lot easier than making alterations but I do miss the doing embroidery work. I guess that's something I could incorporate into some designs... appliqué here and there ... Sashiko embroidery is something get into but perhaps later... so stay tune ....

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fashion Week

this week's Polly Dolly theme is:What would your Dolly wear to...

Fashion Week

Fashion Week

It's Fashion Week and I'm dressed up in this gorgeous satin stretch dress in just the perfect colour. My heels are those fabulous pewter sandals all strappy and making me so much taller. Lots of beautiful jewellery, rings, rings and pearls and crystals. And I just couldn't forget my Lu Lu hobo which would make my day at this week's Fashion Week.  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Phone Pouch

Ashley's little phone pouch is getting a bit old so I revamped it a little and made her this one today. It took a while to draft this one out because I had to get the dart just right and give the pouch enough room to fit the phone. Had to throw away the first few attempts but got the pattern right. I was thinking of adding a small pocket at the back but decided it  would have been too bulky. The material I used was the same pink batik scrap that I made the little clutch with. 

To draft the pattern I use my phone as a template and then added about 1/2' for the width and an extra 3/8 for the seams to get enough space for the dart. I managed to use up all the material scraps and had nothing to spare. The pouch is fully lined with a medium interfacing to give it a bit of structure. 

The Little Clutch

I've been working through my collection of material and I found this small off cut from a dress that I'm making for Ashley. It's actually a piece of batik which I had trimmed off from the side of the bodice. It was too small for anything I had put it aside for a small purse or clutch. So last night while watching tv I drafted out a clutch with an wristband which I could use for quick errands or for an evening bag. I also dug out the rest of the red kimono material that I made the red bag with and cut out a few to make later this week. I'm going out this Friday so I'm hoping to use this little clutch.

The red kimono material all cut out and ready to sew. I think I cut out at least 5 little clutches... I was watching tv so I just keep cutting!

Sewing up all around the edges.

The finishing touch... the side seam and the button. I decided to use a button since magnetic buttons are hard to come by but I think it looked better with the turquoise 
button. I didn't put any inner pockets into this clutch as the space is pretty small.... I just hope it fits all my stuff.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

31 Photos in 31 Days – August 2010 – Day 25

Day 25. My little patch of green. 
I live in an apartment so there isn't much of a garden on my balcony plus I'm not much of green thumb. This is just a little patch that we have on the front balcony. Most of my plants have been donated and some I've "borrowed" from the common garden near the front door to the apartments. The lovely big pot was a gift from hubby and I love the texture of the clay. 

what's in your handbag...

This week's My Place And Yours over at Hello Owl is 

what's in your handbag...

This what is hiding in my bag or should I say this is what I'm hiding in my bag these days. I'm using my red bag  that I made the other day and it's one of those big bags that can fit almost the kitchen sink. I've been using it lately to double up as my nappy bag and so it's crammed with nappies, a big packet of baby wipes for all those messy occasions, a camera for those unforgettable moments with the kids and also for my 31 Day challenge, car keys, hair clip, lip gloss for that quick splash of colour, my pocket purse and my phone. .... the things missing from my bag .... change of clothes for Jacob because he's a mess these days and has to change at least 3-4 times a day, toys, snacks and a sippy cup. I usually have so much in my bag that I'm forever looking for my keys even though I made 3 pockets inside I'm really going to have to add a cord or something next time so I can clip it onto all my keys. 

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

31 Photos in 31 Days – August 2010 – Day 24

Day 24. Muffin break.
I bought these big muffin papers and the kids and I whipped up these banana muffins. They were a bit larger than normal so instead of making a dozen we could only make 10. Tristan had a blast stirring the batter while Ash helped supervise..... and Jacob was the muffin tester!



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