Friday, 26 September 2008

This time next week

Do you know where you are going to be this time next week?? I have a fair idea, in Customs at Brisbane International Airport, with Donnie, Happy, Auntie Daph and Auntie Nance (CT's honorary aunties) and probably one very overtired teary CT. Yeap I am off to Australia for about a month. I am going to visit my quack about my skin... I do not want a repeat of May-June last year. But Holy Crap, my head is spinning over what I have to achieve (crafty wise/playgroup wise/cleaning wise/packing wise) by 10pm next Thursday....

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

More Bragging and A Plug

It's only fair that I start this post with a plug for this fantastic lady, Ah-Fat (as she is known in blogland). I met this lovely lady through Active Toddlers Singapore (If you live in Singapore and lurk here, I cannot stress how fab this group is. Go check it out. :D), we've even been fabric foraging together,and she has good taste in fabric. I bought the piece of fabric after some gentle persuasion.
Thank you Ah-Fat
Ah-Fat has even loaned me this book, (it's under Jen's cool mutt book for CT). You should go to her blog and check out the doll she has made her little girl, who is such a sweetie. Ah-Fat is having a giveaway for Children's Day/Hari Raya (don't forget to leave a comment before next Wednesday) and is having an Etsy sale. Very cute or what??
Messenger Squirrel
Now for a brag. I am so bloody proud of this messenger bag. See the gusset?? Went in like a charm, so swearing or unpicking at all. This also has a zipper pocket, for your treasures. Initially, I was just going to have a little bag without a flap but I felt it would look classier as a messenger bag, especially since it had a zippered pocket. Must say that next time when I make one of these bags, I am going to have a rethink about the way the flap goes on. Like the denim bias? Stabbed myself a few times stitching it down. The G&T has me in a happy zone, so couldn't be arsed swearing. I decided the handle needed some of that trim too (a Textile Centre find, if you are in Singers and want to know how I procured some too). Not so happy about the button hole. Screwed that up a few times (took 2 hours to do, but the day I was making this I was having a 'happy day', so I decided to have a G&T instead of a swear. And it was the same G&T that kept me happy and giggly as I stabbed myself while sewing on the binding.) I hope it is loved at it's new home. Not saying where it is going or what it went with. That's for the new owner to find out when it rocks on into their letterbox, stoop or private mailbox.... But then again CT would think that you have no taste.
Can't catch me

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Doggie Bags

CT's Doggie Bag
When I saw that stretch knit fur remnant at Spotlight way back in June, I knew what I was going to do with it. It was begging to become a doggie bag for CT (aka Mrs Baggly II). Guilty as charged for fararkling (disagree with this definition because an individual not just a group can farnarkle). If it wasn't for one of CT's little friend's birthdays, it probably would be on the must do list.
Doggie Bags
Basically what I did was look for a picture I could use as a template and made it up as I went along. I knew I wanted a zip closure, a zippered pocket and handles. I pinned the outer fabrics (fur and denim) and the lining fabrics to the template and cut out slowly and carefully. As CT gets older, I figured that she would enjoy a zippered pocket to hide treasures (such as half finished biscuits for 'ron) and the handles came from a long abandoned G&T induced disaster. After the zippered pockets were done, I sewed a zip from ear to ear, carefully pinned the handles in sewed the lining (deliberately used a wider seam allowance) and outer like any other zippered pouch. To give the handles more durability I sewed them a few times. Turned it right side out, top stitched the outer layer (that's why I used a wider seam allowance for the lining, so it would fit), stuffed the lining in a voila.
Road Test
Poorly Miss CT sat and watched proceedings (though she did ask to stroke the puppies a few times). She road tested the bag before I had a chance to top stitch it (did that after bed time). It has become the going out bag. When we say 'odekake' (going out), there is a mad scramble for her bag and an evil sodding toddler hat. Mission accomplished I would say.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Evil Sodding Toddler Hat

Bansai!! Camera found, albeit in a strange place, but I can start skiting!!
They may be evil sodding toddler hats but...The above hat looks innocent enough but, don't be deceived, it's not a very forgiving pattern (Though CT would tell you that they were fab...). It's from ???? My pattern tracing was not 100% perfect but I was very careful. I know that I was not so careful with the cutting out. Most commercial patterns have leeway in cutting and sewing together. Not these patterns.... So with a few extra mms of fabric, a raging fever and lead foot sewing (seams are mainly straight but might vary a smidge), it took 5 attempts to get the crown and brim to fit. I unpicked and resewed 4 times.
Sodding Evil Toddler Hat Mark I
This one twice... even after I retraced the pattern pieces and re cut everything. (Sodding thing....)
Sodding Evil Toddler Hat Mark II
You may wonder why I persisted. CT needs new hats especially since we we lost this wonderful one back in June. Plus there is secret squirelling involved. The 3rd completed hat a) has not been photographed (mainly because a camera went MIA, thanks CT) and b) I am pretty sure that a pickie of said hat would spoil a surprise (I know that the recipient's mummy lurks, but which mummy?? he he he....) Nothing like some secret squirrelling to motivate one, eh?? When it comes to kiddy clothes, I like to use tried and true patterns. So when first was a disaster, I stubbornness made me make another one (no sodding pattern was going to get the better of me). A case of third time lucky. There are another 4 in various stages of production (feel slightly like a mini factory...) but until they arrive at their homes, they are squirrels people. Those 4 would give me away, they would. Oh well back to creating. Cheers. :D

Friday, 19 September 2008

Touch Wood

Last Wednesday, I phoned a friend, on a whim, as I do, and spoke about the impending 'joy' of going to Jurong Bird Park with a slight head ache that was caused by enjoying a little too much of the bounty one received recently. Um idjot me should have touched wood and shouldn't have courted Lady Karma. The bird park was awesome, we had fun, screeching birds were not noticed at all because of all the fun.
Front entrance
Methinks Lady Karma, decided that I needed to learn a lesson because CT and I came down with a fever which came with a charming sleep depriving cough. Mildly annoying for oneself but it is heart breaking while it is your little one bravely coughing up her lung and not whinging (though mummy has fussed). Seeing that CT had a nasty bug this time last year,am I right in assuming that this is going to an annual event?? Despite that there has been a lot of creating, both the swap kind, CT & co kind and even something for the home, CT has been content to sit and observe proceedings (the rice box and loo have missed her). I'd love to skite. Um seeing that this fever has decided to go party on in a new host and I feel human again, do you think I can find the camera?? Shame I can't call it up, like the phones...

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

You're so crafty

This is something that is said to me quite often by mums in the circles I travel in here. But, huh?? Not really, inspired by what I read and see on the Internet definitely, especially what I see in terms of kiddy craft. A half hour trip on the MRT can be interesting. Although, I enjoy playing cat and mouse with CT, there is a time and place and the train isn't one (though the kid in me thinks it should be). I went to the Crafty Crow last week because I am looking for travel distractions. I really liked Chasing Cheerios toddler bags. So I am slowly putting a few together.
Supply list
Today I decided to make a sandpaper activity. This is not an original idea, though I can't for the life of me remember where I read about this activity. Basically you need a piece of sandpaper and pieces of wool/string of various lengths. Then let them explore the medium and apply the wool as the spirit moves them.
As I am going to be shoving this in and out of a backpack/handbag often, I wanted to make it sturdy. I mean how long is a piece of sandpaper just is going to last?? Not long. So I got a cheap Ikea frame, cut out a piece of sandpaper the same size as the backing cardboard and popped it in. Then gave it a test run.
Fine sandpaper
Fine sandpaper, fail!! Not enough friction for the wool to adhere, and to think I choose the sandpaper for the colour (well I let CT because it's for her and I want her to feel she has some ownership, even if she is nearly 18 months). OOOPS! Not to worry, I found some steel wool pads under the sink and they work better but will be dropping into a hardware store soon. Hopefully this will keep CT entertained on the train tomorrow, on the way to Jurong Bird Park. :D Exciting but about 1 1/2 hours by public transport...
Sheesh, writing a post after a 2 generous G&Ts (which I EARNED today) is a challenge...
CT would like to give her 5 Sing cents worth and let you know that, mummy should be more understanding about her favourite pastime at the moment as per above.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Making Monday: Glitter Shapes

I mentioned in a previous post that I have organised toddler craft sessions at my place through Active Toddler Singapore. The name for the sessions is not original, it's borrowed from Elsie Marley. I needed a needed a catchy name for the sessions... At the moment, my philosophy behind these sessions, is exposure, exploration and socialisation. It is the process and not the product that is important and if playing with the glue stick, train spotting, playing with toys, hanging with the other little people, is more important so be it.

Enough of the blurb: this week, we made glitter shapes. Maybe, a few of you might like to join us, virtually. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Last night I did the preparation. You'll need some construction paper, shapes to trace around, scissors and a husband who doesn't mind cutting out while he is watching King Kong. (Thanks S). Why the Christmas shapes? It is going to take me 3 1/2 months to get organised. Also my favourite Christmas decorations that Donnie has are the ones made by Rob and I while we were in Kindy.
Preparation: Glitter Shapes
Supplies you will need. Those lovingly cut out shapes (once again thanks S), glue sticks, glitter glue (optional), glitter, vinyl tablecloth (optional but I find the static on the vinyl stops a lot of that glitter getting on the floor) and a shoe box (not pictured). I highly recommend using a shoe box for this activity as it contains the glitter, you can control how much goes on the preglued shape and there isn't as much excess glitter.
Supplies: Glitter Shapes
Next is CT's favourite part, she gets to play with the glue stick. I plonked a shape in front of her, as she tends to go in a zone with glue sticks.
The aim is to get glue on the shape, today this was our preferred method of transfer. What ever floats your boat, CT.
ct's preferred method of gluing
Once the shape has some glue on it (the younger they are the sooner they seem to lose interest in the sticking bit), show them the shoe box, the glitter, choose a colour together (ha), fight over who is going to pour the glitter in (optional but likely with this dubious duo)
step 2: adding glitter
and then pop the shape in,
step 3: shape in
let them have a good shake (lid on is better but I wanted the photo, you don't really want glitter all over the place),
step 4: give it a shake
and shake the excess glitter off (if you are allowed) and you should end up with something like this:
step 5: ta da
Here are a few more that took a few hours to make (with great company).
CT's collection
Next time I do this activity, I am going to make sure the outside of the box is contacted, glitter can escape from cracks and crevices. Not that I had much of a mess, but man this glitter is worse than sand...

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Dear Papa

Happy Father's Day!!!!
Dakkoo Papa
We hope you enjoyed lunch today (okay not a photo from today), the roast last night and we will finish your photo frame.
Chicken Rice is yum
We loves you heaps.
My papa
Your girls.

Catching up

I think if they were handing an award out for the most inconsistent blogger, I would be in with a good chance of winning it. Honestly, I have started a few posts, thought of many posts, but not quite got to it. You probably wonder what I do with my time. Okay I will let you in on the secret, this is my online playgroup. You probably won't be able to see much. But we (and that is the royal we) are very active members. Um, if we are not signed up for one of those playdates (we even host some), it is pretty rare. CT is just so active and constantly distroying the house. I deliberately try to wear her out.
Not sure about you mate
Donnie and Happy (can't miss the family resemblance can you??) was here a whole two weeks ago and is now somewhere about here:
This where Donnie is
When she came it was like Christmas:
It felt like Christmas
And we did a lot in that day and a half.
I have done a lot of this (and that is all I am confessing to):
Arab St and surrounds haul
Ikea haul
and have had friends with me (I arranged a mummy playdate even),
Some Meetup Mummies
and there have been trips to various places to buy our (in the royal sense again) craft supplies. Call me insane but I have started a little toddler craft group at home. I find that ANZA group has too many distractions and CT observes more than create. But that's okay. Besides I aim to built some gross motor skills (not this kind though) as well as play with materials. If I follow the a little often blog of thumb like Jen, hopefully there will be quick and easy ideas like this:
Nina Craft
more often here.

Donnie had a birthday and I asked Jen to make this for her. I also made this
Happy Brithday Donnie
but she left it with us. Kids Swap check:
The swap without the lollies
Baby tag quilts check (the fronts are on flickr):
The collection
Still working on my Fairytale swap and Robot Swap (public note to self, email your partners), Summer Sack Swap sacks, various clothing items for CT's friends who are the cusp of the terrible twos, a few hats for CT, an ATC to remake (gone MIA) as well baking and playdough (commercial brands and non salt homemade playdough = lots of eating). I have been plough through my teaching word documents and making them into pdfs or finishing them as well (why not over do it in style??)

These items have passed through the mailbox from Jen for CT:
Auntie Jen
Better puppy drawing book photo
see the book underneath the doggies? Ah-Fat loaned me that and we met through the online playgroup.

You may wonder how I am doing it all. One word summary: INSOMNIA.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The kind of diet my letterbox prefers.

As promised a return to crafty post this time. My letterbox and I prefer the swap kind of mail rather than the letter envelope or mail I need to redirect. (In an aside ramble, there are 4 different people who longer reside here that still has mail regularly sent to them...)
Russian Doll Swap
First to arrive in the mailbox was this lovely parcel from Apryl of Meridian Ariel fame (who happens to be an expat as well :D) as part of the Russian Doll Swap organised by I'm a Ginger Monkey. CT the bickie monster claimed this lovely key link as the parcel was being opened.
Key ring
I have put it up high so she does not destroy it and have been working on a bag design for her to put it on. She still doesn't have a 'mummy made' bag and I think it is high time she had her own for her important stuff (ie transport distractions).
Takeaway Coffee warmer
S claimed the takeaway coffee cup holder. Not to keep his coffee warm mind you, it's to keep him from burning his fingers. I guess that it is only fitting that he gets a little something after all this swapping. :D
What a doll!!
Now for the crowning glory, one of Meridian Ariel's original book page illustration. Isn't she beautiful?? I love this shade of yellow and the flowers remind me of daisies. Lucky or what??
Summer picnic buttons
Then the next package to cross the threshold was this stunning covered button swap made by Donna which was organised by Little Red Caboose. Her theme was summer picnic. Luckiness or what?? I really need to think of a project/s for those scrummy buttons, though I keep seeing cute little outfits for CT and each one of those buttons being featured.
Covered Button Swap package
Look at the other goodies, Donna included in the swap.
Drawstring Bag detail
This drawstring pouch is used to transport our cutlery. The little girl struggles with big people spoons and forks as well as my own chopsticks. I prefer pointy Japanese numbers to round Chinese versions. I also LOATHE plastic knives and forks....
Apron details
The apron is really handy while I sew. All my tools go safely in the pocket. Loving the print and have been looking on Etsy to see if I can snaffle a metre/yard of my own....
For the little girl
Isn't this fabric and trim summery or what?? Still thinking of how I am going to use the trim and fabric. Once again I am erring towards the little girl as she is so much fun to make stuff for.

Then the lovely Jen of Painted Fish Studio sent me a belated birthday gift. Was I spoilt or what???
The felted bowl has pride of place above the tv. It also holds all my hand embroidery needles and little projects from sticky fingers. :D I love it now all it needs is a runner to match it. I'll get around to that in my spare time. :D
Swatch score
See the pretty fabric?? Jen printed it. Isn't she talented?? This needs to be made into a wall hanging, methinks. Be sure that I will be bouncing ideas off Donnie on Sunday. Um Smooth, to prevent it from going missing, I might just use it as a blankie. :P
Look at the postcards! S even had a difficult time reading the information printed on them as they were preWWII. Lucky and I've been to some of the places. Oh and a Polaroid of her two dish lickers. What an awesome pair. I have this Polaroid in a place where CT can see and bark at them (because that's what you do when you see a dog regardless if it is the real deal or a picture, peeps) but not take and destroy. Oh and a cyberswipe that worked, the buttons that is!! Just call me swiper! (Yes I have been watching and reading too much of Dora the Explorer....)
Origami mobile
I would like to say that my mini goldfish mobile is hanging up. Vertigo me is too chicken to put to hang it up where I am holding it in the photo. :D
Felted soap
The soap has been bliss.
How do I....
The trim has been the most awesome toy. Ribbon rolls go in ribbon rolls go out... Amazing how such a simple thing becomes so cherished.
A poor photo of Darliy's Stitched by Hand Flickr Group's Nautical ATC Swap. Sometimes it is hard to find time to rephotograph stuff that was lost on the dinosaur computer when it decided to go to cyber heaven. Can you see the fresh water pearls? And you should see the stitching of the seahorse with your own eyes. AMAZING!!! Seeing how I name things, this is Tatsu, as a seahorse is called tatsu no otoshi ko (dragon's fallen child). Not original but I like it.

There is another awesome package from Jen, a custom order and some extra goodies, but I am not sure if Donnie is going to breeze in and out of my blog before she goes on holidays. I might see her on Sunday but on Monday next, she is off to Europe until the 1st of October. I would gladly be her porter but I doubt the NinjaStar would cope with 6 weeks of travel. I was sorely tempted. As she gets older, I have no doubt we will have our own European adventure.