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.

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 12.06.09 PM

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.

Dental Flowers 11.58.34 AM

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 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.

Happy As A Fish In The Rain

These past few days were spent making things for people in my life.

Amango’s (yes, that is not her real name) birthday was a while back but we have not had the chance to meet up. Her present has been sitting in the Japanese Origami paper long enough. Since I managed to get it to her boyfriend to pass it to her, I guess it’s safe to post it up here.

Amantha's Bow

Amantha’s Bow

Amantha’s fashion is a little homely with a tinge of vintage. So I thought I’d make something that has that feel – at least to me. The lace reminds me of that old table cloths people used to have at home and the peach-pink linen brings a little old-fashion mood. But what I like is the green beads, which add a little spunk to the bow. I hope this hair pin is not too embarrassing to wear in public. 🙂

An aunt of mine has just gotten home from the hospital. She is recovering from surgery and I thought I’d give her something to remind her she’s not alone. Now that she has my uncle and cousin with her, she is in good hands. But seeing that my uncle is always the one who buys fruits for us, a fruit basket would be a quite redundant get-well-soon gift.

Fish In The Rain

Fish In The Rain

When Life Makes You Cry

When Life Makes You Cry

I’m hoping words and embroidery will help sooth her soul. The fish and rain drops are embroidered with ribbons onto a thin see-through linen. It is then stuck onto the paper using melted glue from a glue gun.

It’s easy to blame something or someone else for your misfortunes, but it’s more interesting to look at things through the other end of the kaleidoscope. Aunt’s health has always had problems. For instance, she is slightly deaf on one ear. She could easily have had both her ears injured, but still, she can hear.

This time, she probably sustained her injury while skiing on the mountains 2 weeks ago. The injury is bad but could have been worse. Thankfully, she was given the chance to get better. The surgery was a success and her family was and still is with her every step of the way.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are things to be grateful for, sometimes we just need a little reminder.

– Here’s a to good and speedy recovery. –

Stumbling Upon A Travel Book

I completed the Spongebob laptop case the evening of my last post. Should get to sending it out (sorry Steph). But I did promise to share the end product with you all, so here it is.

Spongebob Laptop bag complete

Spongebob Laptop bag complete

I’m sorry I won’t be able to keep it for myself. 🙂

A friend of mine from Paris was here with her father last week on a stopover to Indonesia. They’ll be back again next week on another stopover before returning home and this time, instead of embarrassing myself meeting them empty handed, I want to give her something. In keeping in line with the theme for next season, I’ve decided on a vintage travel book.

'pin an' Lantern

‘pin an’ Lantern

It’s not quite finished yet, but here is a peek at the cover page – a chinese lantern with the words ‘pin an’ meaning safe.  It was a joy sewing this lantern – from the ribbon flowers all the way to the yellow tassel. The yellow smudge on the blue cloth is to show a shadow-y effect of how a lantern would look were it to be lit. Right now I’m eagerly waiting for the glue to dry to I can complete this book. It’s nice to garner inspiration from the people in my life.

Tired Bunny

Tired Bunny

The little fellow has been stumbling about the house. It is getting increasingly hard for him to get anywhere with that extra weight on his leg. So he’s being treated like an emperor, having food and water brought to him and getting to eat his favourite treats more. I went to the pet store the other day to pick up his favourite fruit bites when a salesgirl recommended me some food for Nili. Upon hearing that Nili was sick and perhaps leaving us soon, she gave me some treats for free, making sure I got them by letting the cashier know.

Sometimes the world throws you a pleasant surprise by reminding you of the power of kindness. Thank you, stranger. Nili really enjoys the treats.

Those Eyes

The morning greeted me with a glitch on my computer but I hope it has been settled. I am never good with technologies and most of the time I go about it blindly. Needless to say I am hopeless when it comes to anything electronic. I’d sooner use a hammer on it than attempt to find out what’s wrong.

Nevertheless, I am grateful for it. It has brought me closer to you all out there and has helped me share my work and thoughts.

I needed to get myself off the self-pity wagon and what better to help me with it than a sewing project. Stephanie had recently grown a liking for Spongebob (who doesn’t like that boxy fella) and wanted a laptop cover with him on it.

Blink Blink!

Blink Blink!

What makes Spongebob so adorable is the amount of emotions he shows with his big round eyes. I wanted to give it more texture and dimension. So I decided against sewing just a simple white circle on. Instead, I did a diagonal laid filling. The rest sort of fell into place after that.

You Know It! - Spongebob

You Know It!

His nose, I noticed, is cuter when it pops out. So I did a woven picot for it. And with those cheeks in, you know he is smiling even without seeing his mouth. 🙂

When the whole thing is done, I shall share it with you. In the meantime, it’s back to the needles and threads again and counting down the hours till I go home to Nili for his next clean – one of my favourite time of the day.

Thank you, to those of you out there reading. It keeps me writing, which certainly helps right now. 🙂

Forgetting About The Price Tag

For someone who doesn’t go out much, I had a great time in South Korea. The weather was nice, the food was even better and the experience was complicated.

Streets Of S. Korea

Fun In S. Korea

Living on a island, it is funny how I still yearn to live by the beach so much. But it is a dream I dare not put too much thought into. That’s the Haeundae beach in Busan. The best part of my trip is strolling along the beach,  walking along the wooden walk-way along the coast at night, and getting lost only to find a wonderfully hidden Korean barbeque restaurant frequented by famous Korean celebrities.

The ambiance was great, and so was the price. But that’s what holidays are for, eating, making a fool of yourselves and dressing up as an old palace minister. That’s laogong over there, in one rare occasion where he lets me take a picture of him.

We went to a craft street in Seoul but most of the work cannot be photographed, which I totally understand and I think you crafts people out there would too.

Crafts in S. Korea

Crafts in Seoul

I managed to take a couple of pictures of Korean embroidery before I realised that photography was not allowed. So not to show any disrespect, I took a picture of this famous Korean artist’s shop instead of her work. I love her work. It is absolutely adorable. You can check it out on her website. Be warned, it is a little pricy. Most of the good stuff there along that street are. But they only reflect the value of their work.

After shortlisting a few items, I decided on this pair of earrings from a local artist eunnamu.

eunnamu

eunnamu

I have not put it on yet. I don’t really have any occasion to wear it to, it’s just too pretty. But the design is just sublime that I had to get it. You can see the effort and love she put into her work. And that, I feel, deserves a little more than just a price tag.