Obsession: Makeup Brushes & Vintage Jewellery

A quick update on what I’ve been up to of late.

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Still dizzy over crochet jewellery. The one on the left is made with nylon strings; the one of the right with wire. Found out about Gloom card games a few months back and couldn’t resist the art work on these transparent cards. So I used it and turned it into a glass-tile pendant.

Vintage Glass tile Ring

Vintage Glass tile Ring


Speaking of glass tile jewellery, here’s one with my chubby hands. I stole the flower from this card my mom received years ago from a I-can’t-remember-what company. It’s good to keep those mails and pamphlets you receive. They will one day come in handy when you are caught bored in the office with hours to kill.

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While googling (“google” should be added to the dictionary, seeing that when you right-click on the red-underlined “google”, the phrase “search Google for google” comes up) ways to keep my makeup brushes, a picture of makeup brushes neatly placed on a bamboo mat appeared. So I thought I could make myself one.

I don’t like placing them in a container. Mostly because I don’t use them very often so I don’t want them to be sitting there collecting dust. I spent some time looking for a vintage straw dispenser to hold my brushes so that at least there is a lid over them. But I couldn’t find one. In the end, all I needed was a trip to Daiso, 2 sushi mats, some elastic band, a lot of patience and a couple of hours to make this sushi mat makeup brush holder to display all my brushes conveniently.

Now, all that’s left is to make a simple bag to keep those rolled up mats.


Green, Grad, Bags And A Little Southland Mourning

Whenever my parents meet up with my sis overseas, there’s always this eagerness to get her something, seeing that we seldom get to hang out anymore. I often wonder how different life would be if she lived nearby. But there’s no point in wondering about something that isn’t going to happen.

Much like my mom, actually, one of the few likes she has that is similar to my mom’s, is the colour green.

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Green Crochet Bracelet

So I made her a crochet bracelet, which coincidentally matches a necklace she has. Yay!

A long lost friend of mine got married recently and is moving away too. Perhaps if I stretch my hands far enough I can still be able to touch all these people whom I love who decided to settle down on different ends of the world. I’m glad I’m in the middle.

Janice and Han's Foldable Reversible Bag

Janice and Han’s Foldable Reversible Bag

Since travel is going to be part of her life now (I’m sure she’ll have to come home every now and them), I though a nice foldable bag would be convenient, especially for those unforeseen shopping items you tend to get at airports. Did I also mention it was reversible? Yea… I like things that are creative but also serve as multiple functions.

Lastly, as a favour to my brother-in-law, who recently graduated, I sewed his little graduation bear a graduation hat, since the original one got lost during the hassle of the convocation.

Graduation Bear

Graduation Bear


It’s true what they say about work. When it’s quiet, it’s quiet. But when it gets busy, you can’t catch a break. I’m not complaining though. I needed to pick up the needle again.


On a side note, I am willing to sign any petition that will bring Southland back. With the original gang. Please don’t let Cooper become just another sad story.

The Doctor Is In

When thinking of the design for the Thank you card for the dentist, I faced a few … tricky obstacles.

The idea of sewing a tooth fairy came about, but then I thought it would be funny for a grown man to receive a tooth fairy from an adult female.

So I went to the basic – flowers. It was closing mother’s day and flowers were every where. And since each flower has its own meaning, I had to be careful not to send the wrong message. Roses, for example, would be a terrible idea.

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So I settled with this – simple, pleasant and subtle in its message. Something about it just gives me a very soothing feeling inside. And I love how the colours all go together.

(On a side note, I feel a slight high when my outfit for the day is colour-coordinated, down to the undies.)

Thank You Doctor!

Thank You Doctor!


I pasted a piece of black paper behind to write my thank you note on. I thought it would be more sincere if the emphasis of the card was on the names the thank-you(s) were going out to, but I regretfully forgot the Anesthetist’s name (and the nurses all did not have name tags on – or they did but I was too high on drugs to remember).

So in the small almost minute chance that you will come across this blog, I would like to say a huge thank you and give a virtual hug to all the nurses, doctors and staff who helped me through my dental surgery. And to all the healthcare workers out there, patients may not show it, but we are always grateful to meet a great healthcare worker. The simplest of gestures make a tremendous difference, especially when you’re in so much pain.

Summer Flowers On A Winter’s Day

I don’t have much to say these days. I fear my inspiration is wearing thin. I only sew if there is someone to sew for. I don’t want to sew to sell, I want to sew to give. I’m not sure that’s going to put rice on the table.

I need to find a new sense of purpose in my embroidery.

Recently my ghost friend no more left for India for a short student exchange programme. I thought that, since that was the case, a sari-colour inspired notebook would be fitting, to record all her colourful experiences.

Sari-colour Inspired Notebook

Sari-colour Inspired Notebook


My current, and some-what on-going, craze has been ribbon flowers. These are the things I’ve been experimenting on lately.

Flower Badges

Flower Badges


I guess I need to start making things I’d actually wear or use. One thing I can’t seem to find is alphabetized notebooks – where the pages are divided by alphabets. They only have that as address books. But I want one to write notes down for future reference. Anyone every wanted one of those?

That shall be my next project.


A Locket To Keep You Close

I finally decided what I wanted to sew for Nili.

It has been 3 months and for a while I couldn’t sew anything because I was stuck thinking of what to sew for Nili after he left us. I wanted something that, like him, was silent and sweet. So I picked a colour that was soothing, and the thread to embroider on to be almost similar to the cloth so that the words do not stand out too much. Except for the heart, because we miss him so.

Nili's Locket

Nili’s Locket


Now all is left is for me to pick a good picture. It took a whole day of faulty internet in the office to get me sewing again. Hopefully this will put me back on track. Next up, a bag for Ponton’s thingamabob.

I now have 2 soft toy dogs.

I now have 2 soft toy dogs.

Like a newbie, I want to carry around so many things when I bring him out – his pee pads, his chew toys, some wet tissues… Well the last time we brought him out with all those stuff was to my in-laws’ for a few hours so I think it was called for.

But don’t think for a second that I am going to carry that huge soft toy around for him to play with! There isn’t a reasonable carry-on bag big enough and I already have my hands full with this mischievous little fellow.


My Skirt-ish Dilema

When I made this skirt, I was thinking about food – cupcakes, in particular.

My Cupcake Skirt

My Cupcake Skirt

I was in love with the yellow linen with white polka dots. It reminds me of vintage clothes that look so much better than the skimpy ones people seem to be wearing nowadays.

Everything seems to be getting smaller, clothes seem to be made with lesser cloth; the lesser, the better. Shirts, torn on the behind to reveal the bra, shorts, torn to reveal the pockets underneath… If it’s not torn, it shouldn’t be worn.

Anyway, I kept the yellow cloth long enough. I wanted to make a decent skirt out of it, to bring out its cuteness. So when I got the pink linen,  I though I’d pop it over the yellow one, pin it up with some flowers (woven from yarn) and buttons, make it look like a cupcake and voila! I’d have myself a skirt worthy of the cloth it’s been made from.

Of course now that it is finished, and has been for a while, I have no idea what to wear it with.

Just like many other clothes I get from stores. Why is that.

Stationery Frenzy

Laogong’s convocation was yesterday. I had wanted to put up some photos, but daddy decided to hijack all the photos by securing them in his dry cabinet while he is away.

The only other option left for me is to steal some photos from other people’s facebook. However, since there is a tiny matter of a certain someone’s triple chin, whose identity shall remain anonymous (you only get 1 guess), I am going to wait for daddy to return.

Mom went shopping recently and bought me some very beautifully designed notebooks from The Jekyll and Hyde Project.

The Jekyll And Hyde Project - Vintage Notebooks

The Jekyll And Hyde Project – Vintage Notebooks

Plenty of ideas in my mind of what to use them for but don’t know which one to use first. Here’s another notebook store that I fancy, but mom couldn’t find any of their books there where she was shopping.


Before I jump the gun and start my new long-term project with my notebooks, here’s what I’ve been up to lately. It has taken me too long to decide what colours I want my jellyfishes to be. I’ll be sure to share it with you again when I’m done.

My Orange-y Jellyfish

My Orange-y Jellyfish

This is the colour of the jellyfish I see when I close my eyes and dream. What colours are yours?


Embroidering My Dreams

I have a confession to make.

It’s not something big like being an alcoholic or sneaky like secretly getting a tattoo behind my laogong’s back.

The truth is I am very insecure about the way I look. Increasingly so, actually, now that I have been hearing more comments about how ‘aunty’ I look and how my pimples are getting worse.

It is not something I take lightly and believe me when I say that confessing this makes me feel very vulnerable. This is perhaps the reason  I shy away from certain people, clothes and activities.

But I feel it is important to say this. Because many a times, people say things thinking that they mean no harm. Truth is, sometimes, these comments can come across as callous, even if you didn’t mean for it to be.

I admit that I may sound overly sensitive. I know some things people tell me are just facts, or passing remarks, or jokes. Jokes I can take. But if it is a simple remark, please keep it to yourself. Trust me, we already know we have put on a bit, that our face is breaking out in acne, and that are our eyes are slightly too far apart. Or something like that.

We have to face it on a daily basis, and having someone remind us of it again just makes me want to go on a one-man mission to destroying all the mirrors in the world. Because apparently, we don’t already have it shoved in our faces that we need someone to rub salt on the wounds.

I guess I am not that strong yet to be able to laugh it off. Just the other day when someone remarked on my acne, I pretended that the pot on the stove was boiling so that I could run away from the awkward conversation and hide in the kitchen. Honestly, I just did not know how to respond. How do you expect me to respond?

So the next time you decide to point out something obvious to us, just remember: it is not “tell me something I already know” day.

At this point of time, I want to tell my laogong “I love you” for reminding me everyday that I am beautiful in your eyes. I honestly don’t think I’ll be the person I am today if not for you. And for that I am grateful.

On a happier note, here’s what I’ve been busying my fingers with.

My Imaginary Flying FIsh

My Imaginary Flying Fish

I’ve always had dreams of the ocean, perhaps because I’m fascinated by it. Nothing I can find online about marine life ever reflects what I see. But the flying fish comes close, if only a little. I added different colours to it, like how I see it in my mind when I close my eyes. And the intricate stitches bring out the subtleties of the fish’s scales and fins and design.

I know it is not biologically accurate. I hope to get away with it as a form of art. I am embroidering my dreams, after all.

A Dance of Frienship

Patrickang's hip-hop shoe

It wasn’t hard to think of what to embroider for Patrickang’s birthday gift. But it was hard deciding what to embroider it on to. This hip-hop shoe is the exact copy of the ones she wears for her dance classes, right down to the colour and the striking green shoe lace. I really had fun making this one. Any design with details that can be played with – in this case the shoe laces – is always fun!

But I couldn’t post it up earlier this week because I was only going to meet her last night.

gift box

After cracking my brain for ideas, I remembered what mom said and decided to make a card holder, those for bus cards to for the ones we have to take out to use very often. On the flip side of the card holder is an embroidery of ballet shoes. It was meant to show the different sides of Patrickang. But I forgot to take a picture of that. The black background was to further emphasize on embroidery designs, proving the importance of dance in her life, among many other things about her.

I wanted to the design to stand out.

At the end of the day, a gift is just a gesture of a friendship we treasure. Life studying overseas was much more exciting with you around, especially with all the before bedtime laughter we shared. Thanks for always being there, Chen Xiao Kang.