Saturday, August 27, 2011

Celebrating a nation.

On August 31st we will be celebrating Malaysia's National Day and recently I was asked by a relative who lives overseas to make a few peg bags to be given away to her friends. I had never heard of peg bags before but when she explained what they were I wanted to make something that was inspired from the place she came from  "The Land Below The Wind, Sabah".

A traditional Kadazan costume worn during the Harvest Festival.

Traditional the Kadazans have worn this beautiful black velvet costume which are decorated with different golden braids with silver coins draped around the waist and there are actually 3 versions of this costume reflecting the different ages and status of the women in the village. This costume is usually worn during the Harvest Festival but it a symbol of the strong Kadazan culture in Sabah so I wanted to take a little of that and make a peg bag that would reflect the culture and traditions of this beautiful place as well as a celebration of Malaysia as a nation.

Peg bags are essentially a little bag that you use to hold clothes pegs but these peg bags that I designed are special ones which are made with black velveteen and decorated with a variety of golden brocade braids and little golden buttons. There is ample room to store lots of clothes pegs in the skirt pocket and it is fasten with velcro to secure them while they sway in the wind on the clothes line.

The pocket in the skirt is accessed by lifting up the top with the velcro fastener. Lots of room for all your clothes pegs.

Kadazan Inspired Peg Bags all handmade by me. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

100 Facebook Fan Giveaway Winner

The winner has been picked for my This Side Of The Island  Facebook Page and it's lucky no. 16! It's Tara Greenfield who has won my Kanzashi Cherry Blossom Clutch and an Etsy 10% Discount Coupon for This Side Of The Island. 

Polly Dolly: High Flyer

It's a High Flyer time at Polly Dolly today. Time to catch the travel bug and get our passports fulled to the max with our adventure in the high skies living the life as well seasoned traveler. Come and join us with our Polly Dolly travelers at Danimezza.

high flyer
To be a high flyer in the sky I want to be comfortable and stylish too and so I just couldn't resist these gorgeous turquoise hobo bag. I could fit all my travelling goodies and still have room from my souvenir  shopping too. Dressed for comfort in this lovely lacey top teamed up with this ultra comfy jeans and got to have those kitten heeled shoes, not too high just nice for walking and discovering new places.

high flyer by cindapod featuring striped scarves

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another Giveaway!

I'm so happy to announce another Giveaway to celebrate my 100 fan mark on my This Side Of The Island Facebook Page and I'm giving away this gorgeous Kanzashi Cherry Blossom Clutch with my handmade Kanzashi Cherry Blossom that I made the last week. 

 Kanzashi Cherry Blossom Clutch. The kanzashi cherry blossom has pearl and glass beads embroidered into the centre of the flower.

Kanzashi (Japanese Fabric flowers) traditionally worn by Maiko (Geisha in training). They would wear specific Kanzashi dependent on the season or event - cherry blossoms during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

To celebrate the 100 fans that have "Liked" my page I'm going to give this clutch away and an Etsy Discount Coupon to the lucky winner. All you have to do is make a comment below or on Facebook about your favourite bag from This Side Of The Island and you are in the running to win. The winner will be picked by the Random Generator and announced on 27th May so remember to make a comment to win.

A just a small note of thanks and farewell to Blog This who have just ended an era of great blogging and wonderful challenges for many talented bloggers around Australia. I was so glad to be able to give back and donated this bag to their challenge winner for Challenge 72.  and the winning post from Lisa at Life As We Know It . Congrats Lisa!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Tip of Borneo Part 2 The Journey

The start of any journey always begins with a good map or in this case a GPS.

Where ever you travel there is always a beautiful shade of green. The paddy fields are really a sight to see this time of year.

Not a single word from the boys. Everyone enjoying the long drive up the coast.

He was full of giggles along the way. 
I was never really a photographer.... but the auto focus works!

Something you see more of these days ... oil palm plantations .... miles of it.

The village stalls along the way where they sell veggies and fruits and sometimes local handicrafts.

Almost there. Lots of coconuts growing along the way. Kudat is well known for it's coconut industry and fishing. 

We are here. Tanjung Simpang Mengayau or otherwise known as the Tip of Borneo

Beautiful powder white beaches.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Tip of Borneo Part 1

The Tip of Borneo
Living in the city you sometimes forget about the rest of what this beautiful place holds. Rainforests, the highest mountain in Borneo, Mt. Kinabalu, rivers, tropical islands, and white powder beaches with warm crystal clear waters. 

I live in the suburbs surrounding the city of Kota Kinabalu, which isn't really that far maybe about a 5mins drive from the city centre. Not far at all but it's still the suburbs anyway. It's a growing city and we often take if for granted when everything becomes so urbanised, modern and new. It hasn't always been that way and if you were to look back maybe 40+ years ago the place where I live was still part of the jungle with swampy soils and full of tropical trees. It's now the busiest urban area with new apartment buildings and houses coming up and main roads getting wider all the time but I'm lucky in a way because just opposite from where I live is a golf course and a small nature park so I still have a bit of "protected" greenery and a reminder of what it might have been not so long ago.

This side of the island where I live is more developed than the rest and it if you were to take a one and half hour drive out of the city radius you would probably find yourself near some paddy fields, near the mountainous region or definitely near a "kampung" or village. It's still amazes me when we take a long drive out .... meaning at least a good two and half to three hour drive out and find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. I have to admit that I'm a creature of comfort and quite settled with my computer, wifi, satellite tv and most importantly air conditioning. I don't think I could last that long trekking through the jungle or taking a climb up Mt. Kinabalu. The leeches just scare me to bits so all such activity is totally out of the question. I'm really quite content with looking at Mt. Kinabalu from a good distance when people ask me when am I going to climb it and I'll let my husband take the honour in climbing it instead, which he has done in the past and is suppose to do again later this year. 

Recently we had a chance to do a bit of travelling and get away from our daily routines and we decided to take the boys up to the Tip of Borneo. It is the most northernmost part of Sabah and if you look at the map kind of looks like a dog's head so I guess you could say that's the dog's ear that we went to visit! We had been there many times before and our last visit was about seven years ago when our first son was just one and our daughter was about seven years old. It was a different place then with not too many signs pointing the way and a detour or two trying to find the right dirt road to turn into. An untouched spot at the time with only the locals living close by and the kampung kids playing at the beach.

The area is now starting to show some development now but not too much so that it still retains the natural beauty of the beach and surrounding areas. There's a monument at the tip and a sealed road leading up to the point. A few tourist spots are slowly opening up nearby but the kampung is there and it still has a local feel to the place. 

The beauty of the tip only reachable by climbing down the cliffs and walking along weathered rocks that have been shaped by the lapping waters of high tide and the strong sea winds that comes with the seasons. I've walked down the cliff before but this time I had my two year old to handle and so my husband took our eldest son down to rock beds to the furthermost tip and looked at the many rock pools along the way and watched the sun reflect off the sea waters. This place still has it's charm and beauty and I'm happy to still be able to see it eventhough in a few years this place might be very different in years to come. 

The Tip of Borneo, northernmost part of Sabah, is located at a place called Tanjung Simpang Mengayau.

View Tip of Borneo in a larger map

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Polly Dolly - Bride

Going to the chapel 
and going to get married.....

Here comes the bride for another Polly Dolly challenge


Polly Dolly has given us a chance for us to take that walk the aisle again and we get to choose a beautiful gown for the occasion and all the trimmings.
I absolutely love this gown from Elianna Moore, the detailing and just how it flows, so romantic.
And yes more diamonds too and just a bit bigger and more bling.
A beautiful bouquet of roses and a pretty beaded purse.
Reds, pinks, blush roses and much much more to give the day a splash of colour.... I'm going to be a bride for a day.

Blog This ... Baby Love

Baby Love.....
I love their soft chubby cheeks. So plump and round that you just want to pinch and kiss them. My little Jacob was one of those chubby cheeked babies and I just adored the way his face would almost double in size when he smiled with those cheeks. He still has some of that adorable baby chubbiness but with each active month he is growing up more to be a boy than that baby I once cradled in my arms. A toddler with an mind for exploring and discovering his world and getting bigger all the time .... a sometimes Mr Terrible Two but not really he'll always my baby.

My all time fav photo with his blonde wig. It always makes me laugh.  

 Fully focused on the camera

Jacob and Ash

Double cheeked and a dimple too.  

Chuckling with laughter.

Blog This is having a photo challenge and this one is called Baby Love. Come and join in the fun with your adorable baby photos.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lily Bag in Lorenza

I recently got this beautiful fabric from Alexander Henry's Lorenza collection. It's been on my wishlist for so long and I finally my hands on some of it. The first thing I love about this print are the bold colours and I'm always a fan of retro looking floral prints. The design just makes a statement with this print and you can use it for day or night.

So to start off my first handmade bag using this fabric, I came up this this design which is quite similar to my Dahlia Bags but using a zip as the closure and having an adjustable strap so that it can be used as a shoulder bag or a message bag. 

My newest bag .... the Lily Bag using Lorenza in Onyx by Alexander Henry.... and so named Lily after an aunty and also to go with all my other bags named after flowers!

I've use Lorenza in Onyx by Alexander Henry and black cotton drill for the contrast. It is fully lined with beige cotton drill and interfaced to make it sturdy and all seams are reinforced. It has 2 inner pockets for your purse, ipod and phone; and another inner pocket with a zip and a swivel clip for your keys. The bag closes with a zip closure.


Width Top: 13"
Width (Widest): 16"
Depth: 3"
Height: 12"
Adjustable Strap Length: 21.5" - 36" nickel sliders

Interior has 2 pockets and 1 zip pocket
1 x Zipper Pocket: (W)9" x (L) 6"
1 x Pocket: (W)8" x (L)5.5"

You can win this bag by entering Blog This - Challenge 72 If I Could Change The World

"If you were boss of the world, what is one thing you would change? Just one."

Friday, April 1, 2011

Polly Dolly - Little Black Dress

This week Polly Dolly is going out with her Little Black Dress to celebrate her 52 weeks of dazzling us with her beautiful collections and her inspiration at Danimezza

little black dress

This week I was inspired by the ever beautiful Elizabeth Taylor for her gorgeous beauty and the wonder actress that she was. So I've gone for the lovely diamonds that a girl must always have just like Elizabeth. A white diamond ring, diamond bracelet and hoop diamond earrings and speaking about White Diamonds the parfum too. A black lace dress to capture the romance and grace of the night, and together with crystal black shoes and a dazzling diamond black clutch. I think I'm ready for that night out with my little black dress and a memory of a beautiful person.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Congrats to the Giveaway Winners

I'm so happy to announce the winners of my first and second Giveaway for my This Side Of The Island Shop. The winners were picked by  and because I reached another new 25 fans (total now 77!!) for my This Side Of The Island Facebook page I had to have a double draw and have 2 winners.

The Giveaway!!!

My Giveaway List of everyone who entered the giveaway. Thank you so much for being a part of the giveaway.

So here are the winners!!!

The First Winner 
No.29 Gracy Baxter

The Second Winner
No. 30 Christine Santos

Thank you so much for being a part of this Giveaway and I can't wait for the next one. is amazing!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blossom Tote Bag

I was inspired to make this bag from this fabulous print from Amy Butler's Soul Blossom collection. This must be one of the very few bags that I've made with just one fabric print and without a contrast fabric. This beautiful fabric is called Fuchsia Tree in Carmine and it's just so pretty. This design is more of a tote bag and I made it big enough again to fit all my things that a mum can carry. 

It's fully lined again with beige cotton drill and I've used my fav fusible cotton lining on the exterior fabric which is like a Pellon interfacing and that's been a must with all the bags I've been making. It just gives all the bags so much structure and the best thing about is when you crush the bag it never leaves a crease. You just don't have to iron it and it also gives it bit a weight for a fabric bag.

I can remember when I first made a fabric bag I used the normal paper fusible interfacing and I wasn't too happy with the paper-like creases it made in the fabric and it wasn't smooth at all. I never used it again after that and went to look for this Pellon interfacing, which although a bit more expensive it all worth it if you can find it.

Blossom Tote Bag

Blossom Tote Bag

The Blossom Tote Bag. I've made this with this beautiful fabric from Amy Butler's Fuchsia Tree in Carmine from her Soul Blossom collection and it's fully lined with a beige cotton drill. A large tote that can carry almost anything. Big enough to fit you mini netbook. Lots of storage with 4 inner pockets and a pen pocket too. A swivel clip for your keys and magnetic snap for closure. Wide straps for comfort and a detailed bow for style.

All seams are double stitched and reinforced. Fully lined with cotton interfacing making for a sturdy durable bag.

Top Width: 14"
Botton Width: 15.5"
Height: 12"
Depth: 3.5"
Handle Strap Length: 19" Center drop 10.5"

Interior Side Pockets
2 x Pocket: (W)5.5" x (L)4"

Interior Phone Side Pockets plus pen pocket
2 x Pocket: (W)3.5" x (L)4"

I made these for friends so I'll make some to post for Etsy soon.

Blossom Tote Bag

Inside the Blossom Tote Bag

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A bag for everything : Ava Everyday Messenger Bag

I've been talking about making a messenger bag type of bag for some time now and this Ava Everyday Messenger bag is finally here. I just had to name it after one of my baby nieces and I made it in mind with having to use it as a diaper bag and travel bag.

A lot of my ideas for my bags starts off with just a simple drawing and some measurements. I wanted a bag that could carry everything and I mean just about everything.... diapers, spare clothes for Jacob, toys, containers for snacks and all the things that I usually carry with me.... iPod, camera, phone and maybe a novel if I'm lucky.... the need for plenty of space...

This bag has a gusset which gives this bag extra space and strength and it's also wider at the base and slightly narrower at the top to give it a more tailored look. I also added in a reinforced strap that is sewn into the gusset to give a textured look on the sides and added that same width banding on top of the bag do that it highlights the printed fabric from the contrast black. Alot of the times when I sew I'll add on as I go and this extra banding just gave it another dimension and more space which really helped when I decided to make it fit my laptop. What really surprised me when I finished it was the way it sort of fell giving the bag more of a shoulder/hobo kind of look rather than a straight up messenger bag. I was really happy with this bag and it's the start of my Black to Basic collection :)

Ava Everyday Messenger Bag

Ava Everyday Messenger Bag

Ava Everyday Messenger with Adjustable Strap. It is a medium/large bag roomy enough to carry your laptop, books, ipod, phone…). You can carry this bag like a messenger, tote, or shorten the strap and sling it over your shoulder. The adjustable strap with its variation in length makes it a messenger bag for all your everyday needs; travel bag, diaper bag, laptop bag, tote....

I've use Michael Miller Floral Script Fabric in Cream and black cotton drill for the contrast. It is fully lined with beige cotton drill and interfaced to make it sturdy and all seams are reinforced. It has 3 inner pockets for your purse, ipod and phone; another inner pocket with a zip and a swivel clip for your keys. The bag closes with a zip closure.


Width: 15"
Gusset top: 3.5"
Gusset bottom (Depth): 4.5"
Height: 12"
Strap Length: 20" - 32.5" nickel sliders

Interior has 3 pockets and 1 zip pocket
1 x Zipper Pocket: (W)9" x (L) 6"
1 x Pocket: (W)8" x (L),55"
1 x Pocket: (W)4" x (L) 5.5"

You can purchase this bag at Etsy : 

It fits my laptop too!

The bag lying down flat. 

Ava Everyday Messenger Bag



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