Sunday, 30 March 2008

This is... the contents of my handbag

I have decided to join the 'This is....' meme that Three Buttons started earlier this year. I have enjoyed looking each Sunday to see what has been posted and decided I needed to be part of the fun.

CT is going to demonstrate some of the contents of my handbag which doubles as a nappy bag. This also not posed. I forgot that I had put my bag on the floor the other day and when I turned my head for half a second....
Mrs Baggly II
A must in such sunny climes.
Mrs Baggly II
Her hat. One hopes I can prevent melanoma for her in the future.
Mrs Baggly II
Diary, you can see the bib, and a plastic bag. The contents?? Patience peeps...
Mrs Baggly II
Can you see the contents of the plastic bag? Spare pants and other associated paraphanalia. There is also a travelling bug spoon, her sultanas, a container with homemade biscuits (ANZACs of course), the water bottle, the spare bottle in case we go to a cafe and share a milk drink. What you can't see is her raincoat, the umbrella (the rain can come in mighty quick), toys to distract, her cutlery set, keys, the mobile... basically too much stuff. No wonder why my shoulder aches..... Time to go tidy it out I guess....

Friday, 28 March 2008

Room with a view

Room with a view
This has become a favourite past time here. One wonders if she is trying to spy the postie (that would be me), looking into other people's apartments, train spotting, just playing with the curtains. It is also interesting finding the items that are spirited away here...

The Easter Bunny Chick's Swap
Talking about the postie he wasn't feeling waylaid by me on Tuesday (I think he quivers in his boots when he sees me...) because he actually had a parcel. This was received from the lovely Carina from Sweden. I didn't want to bore you with a picture of a whole wall, but I can assure you that it makes the wall look fab.
The Easter Bunny Chick's Swap
Can you see the legs and wings on the chicken?? Pose able. S and I being of simple minds have been taking great delight in posing it. It always amazes me what people create from the same set of swap instructions. Oh thank goodness that Singapore customs aren't as strict as Australian customs. Can you see the chicken feathers?? A nice touch. Thank you very much Carina.
The Easter Bunny Chick's Swap

Non-Public holiday Fridays are CT's favourite. It is the ANZA playgroup morning. I am not as happy with this venue. The alternate Friday venue is more fun for adventure loving CT (an activity centre for the newly mobile but not confident walker/climber). Yet, the slide has become a hit. I got a good workout this morning. guiding down a slide, a swing through the air and line up again for 2 hours. Note to self do not pass the adventure playground in the complex when you are in a hurry....

Finally, does anyone have any ideas on how to baby proof an oven?? Baking Anzac biscuits at 8pm does not appeal otherwise. I know Suzy would appreciate any advice as well.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Navel Gazing

The silence has been deliberate. Since the last post I have been doing a lot of sewing/crafting but I will not be spoiling surprises, because I know Painted Fish Studio is a reader and I suspect the other is a lurker. So when I know that they the items I made have been received, I will post photos here and on flickr. Until then you can all be that proverbial cat.

So madly sewing has been one reason for the silence but the main reason has been to do with navel gazing. Smoothpebble, posted a thought provoking post here about secret dreams. The thing is my dream to be a conference translator was an ambition before I met S. I really need to live in Japan for a few years working for a Japanese firm in the area I want to specialise in for that to happen. S and Japan are like the square peg and round hole scenario. Plus lawyer's working hours are ridiculous and finally I do not like how children of mixed Japanese heritage are referred to as haafu (half). It implies something is missing. That and S banging on about wanting to work in London, not that it is a bad thing but it is his dream, not mine; meant that some resentment set in. Nagging followed and I started to feel a little low about my behaviour. Easter also saw some homesickness. And the ear thing didn't help either, virtually no hearing meant that I spent most of the week closeted at home (never a good thing). Nobody needs to listen to a pity party so I didn't share the worst of it here. But thanks Jen and Donnie for helping out.

Last night really pulled me out of the hole I had put myself into. Good friends from our Brisbane days came to dinner. My first dinner party since just before CT was born and it felt like old times again. It was though we had said our goodbyes the day before. But I had not seen the hubby since December '06 and the wife since Jan '06. It was so good for the soul. I felt like a new woman. So the translating door closed but what fantastic doors opened. So I will have my fantasy dreams when there is the grrr factor...

I will leave you gratuitous photos of CT and Bend the Rules Sewing. S can really surprise me sometimes. He saw her bias tutorial and decided I needed her book, which I have been seriously hankering after since I discovered crafting blog land late August/early September last. It must be good because after it was thieved off the dining room table (man I really need to watch what I leave within go-go gadget reach... at the same time the goal posts can change dramatically in a day.... now that is a post in itself...) she slid it in her hand as she cruised the house from one end to the other. Seeing that she doesn't tear up normal books anymore (she wants to turn the pages in her big girl books), I let her go for it. She also has a secret squirrel sixth sense about me taking pictures (check out flickr) because I couldn't catch her actually pouring over the pages. I have nurtured a book-a-holic which warms my heart. The leaf doesn't fall far from the tree.
Angry Chicken Love

Nite all

Friday, 21 March 2008

Guest Blogger

Hi everyone, my name is Wan-chan and I am stepping in for Mummy today. She is busy atoning for a few crimes that have been committed in this corner of paradise.

Crime 1
Day: Wednesday
Where: Shower
Time: 0700 hours
Victim: Me
Incident Report:
The parents have got it into their tiny minds that it is time for CT to become accustomed to the shower. It was also decided that it was Papa's job and Mummy would make a start on breakfast. Seeing that CT and I are joined at the hip (we're partners in crime even), I was quite happy to sit outside the shower cubicle and watch. But Papa had other ideas... He thought I was a little on the nose, so I needed a quick dip as well... Why?? What have I done wrong?? Aren't I the loyal hound that keeps CT safe, sound and amused?? Don't you know I am allergic to water?? To add insult to injury I was hung out to dry (literally) without even being patted dry in a towel. This where Mummy found me looking forlorn and love lost when she went to hang out the washing.
View of our corner of paradise
The spin in the washing machine was kinda fun (though a little bit frightening). Then I was allowed to bask in the sunlight in our room or the studio (CT and I like to share in all things). But I couldn't join in the fun during the storm, so I sent the humans to Coventry. There are always infinitely more interesting things outside..... Mummy was very inconsiderate not to let me join in. So what if I was wet??
A Hard Dog's Day
No I am not posing for your photo. Go away.

Crime 2
Day: Thursday
Where: The Studio
Time: Nap time
Victim: Antique Japanese silk crepe
Incident Report:
Mummy should have known better. Even though the sewing bible was consulted, what was she thinking?? If you are worried about hand sewing frail antique fabric, why sew them on Ma?? Mummy proudly showed us the fabric and explained it was very special and she had been saving it for the right project. We were not really allowed to touch because it was delicate... Look at the disaster that happened while we were napping.
Mummy had a gut feeling that this probably would happen. She felt guilty for committing a crime against fabric. We have since seen what she did instead, but that's a secret.

Well I am off there is more home wrecking to be a party to and Shiro to beat up (I have to maintain the dominant dog position you know...).

ta ta.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Dear Painted Fish

Even though I have been slactacular tonight I did manage to get somethings done for our swap today. Of course I am not going to spoil the surprise but I did have some help choosing fabrics.
Helper extraordinaire
For everyone else, I think I have the zip market covered. What do you think??
Someone please shoot me! No make it the talentless talent questers in the park next to the train line (about 500m from the current residence). What possessed the local temple to inflict this upon the unwitting?? I have NEVER heard so much dreadful singing in Hokkien or English. And seeing that I am deaf in one ear at the moment they must be loud. And I thought there was going to be a Chinese Opera performing tonight and excited about it....


Excuse me if I ramble myself through the 7 random things about yourself tag from Kwoozy, I am self medicating a rather irritating ear infection (funny how it doesn't bother me as much while CT is keeping me company...) I was going to work on Painted Fish Studio's swap but self medicating = lots of unpicking.


1. Happy's (aka dad) eccentric ways have rubbed off on me to an extent. I will do it my way... But I have to explain myself at the same time (a trait that runs in Happy's family).

2. I had to have a dressmaker's pin surgically removed from my asofagus when I was 8 1/2 years old. Lesson learnt you should not try and imitate the sewers in your family and try and cough at the same time. Lesson not learnt use a pin cushion. I still put pins in my mouth.

3. I met S (aka Stingy depending on the post) on the internet. It was a case of mistaken identity. A mutual friend passed my email address on to S (because I introduced him to his wife while he was in Aus on uni exchange). We were both dissatisfied with the situations we found ourselves at the time and got 'friendly' through moan bonding.

4. I had to have an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction because I tried to Bend it Like Beckham (and it was not too long after the movie) with a cocker spaniel and a many terriers crossed fluff ball.

5. Mcspannar is Happy's nickname for me. It comes from 'Don't throw a spanner (wrench for US readers) in the works' (because I unintentionally do it a lot...). The 'Mc' is an honorary title from a 'Mc' day at Mickey Ds. Oops I have just told the world my first name...

6. CT is Happy's nickname for my little girl, it is really unPC and I love it. Kwoozy, Painted Fish Studio, Donnie, Happy, S and Donnie's 'gals' from her patchwork business know what it means. Okay in an attempt to flush out who lurks here, other than my cronies and Donnie's, I would love to see what you think it means.

7. I have often wondered why sewer as in someone who sews and sewer as in the effluent variety is spelt the same. (In an aside, S still has a problem pronouncing the two and often in introductions tell people that I am the effluent pipe system...)

Seeing that Kwoozy didn't nominate people for the tag, I will be a sheep and do the same. If you want to play along. Please do, just let me know. Between me and you, narrowing things down to 7 was difficult because I am a random kind of person. May be it is because I am blonde. What do you think Donnie??

Monday, 17 March 2008


Drum rolls please people. These creatures are part of the reason for a blog no show for about a week.....

Jack 'the lad' Kookaburra
Swaps completed
Likes: gum trees, laughing (especially at the silly things tin lids do), eating snakes and lizards, using backyard pools as bird baths, playing mind games with terriers
Dislikes: telegraph wires
Made for: Fairbanks Fancygoods as part of the Mother Goose Swap. The inspiration came from the kookaburras that frequented the massive gum trees in the neighbours back yards. I sang Kookaburra Sits in The Old Gum Tree countless times to CT while we were there. So I thought I needed to make her a kookaburra (which I will) but it seemed like a good idea to make one for the swap seeing that I liked this Australian nursery rhyme so much.
Made from: Kookaburra: wool felt; branch: clear hose pipe (long story why I had it but it involves CT, a baby bath and a C-section...), piping cord (difficult to thread into the pipe and hard to cut to make a big enough hole, stabbe myself with the sissors once or twice), covered in a wheat print (looks like the texture of a gum tree branch);
Swaps completed
leaves: free hand embroidered appliques on green homespun (these were fun, fun, fun to make!!! I will be playing more with this technique ;D).
Swaps completed

Miss Moneypenny (left) and Penny Henny (right)
Swaps completed
Miss Moneypenny
Hates: her materialistic name so has become a bohemian hippy chick
Likes: frayed hems, homespun and other natural fibres, dahl
Made for: Irene
As part of: The Easter Bunny's Chicks
Made from: recycled linen shirt (I will never get into that beauty again)for body, homespun dress, button eyes.

Penny Henny

Likes: big hair (notice the comb), ultra mini skirts to show off her long legs
Hates: no wolf whistles as she passes construction sites
Made for: Carina Gradin
As Part of:The Easter Bunny's Chicks
Made from: comb and dress patchwork print, body green homespun
Inspiration: Camille Sait-Saens The Carnival of the Animals Movement II- Poules et Coqs (Hens and Roosters). This was a favourite CD that Happy bought for Rob and I when we were growing up (the eccentric one rarely listens to anything but classical...). Seeing that he agreed (with much grumbling) to loan it to his very special CT, we have been listening to it A LOT. It has rubbed off (as well as the Beastie Boys and anything you can dance to I might add...). If you can get your hands on the libretto, the rooster wolf whistles at chicks passing by. I didn't want to do Japanese-ish style for this swap so as I was listening to this CD I remembered Donnie had given me this book years ago. I modified the chicken pattern slightly because I wanted longer leaner legs (the linen chicken's legs were a nightmare to turn out...).

Speckle (left) and Mr Muscels (right)
Swaps completed
Background story: A mishap with a dog a few years back left Speckle with a wonkey ear and no tail. So he is a very stoic bunny and rarely shows emotion.

Mr Muscels
Background story: He is the want to be boyfriend of Penny Henny but his try hard antics and his love of his pec deck are a turn off... But she lets him hang around so he can buy her drinks and other things. This guy's story is inspired from here (please ignore the uploaders other you tube clips). I love this commercial.

I drew up my own pattern based on the pattern from this book. Once again I did not want it to look Japanese cute. Both bunnies are made from patchwork quality homespuns.

For more photos have a look at my flickr stream. Phew. That was time consuming.... Nite all. It's late in Singapore.

Day of posts

I am making up for the lack of posts last week with lots today. To get the ball rolling, Painted Fish Studio tagged me (gosh my first tag and S thought I was nuts because I did a little victory dance about it). Secret 4s. Some were difficult to limit to 4 (places I have been to and places I have lived, so I mainly chose the most off beat).
4 jobs I¹ve had: general dog's body at Sew N Sew Quilters' Paradise for donkeys years (thanks Donnie it was fun), English conversation teacher (I have done this twice), Japanese teacher (K-12 which I love)

4 favorite movies: Lost is Translation (fave bits are the translation bits), Pirates of the Carribean (Arhhhh, Onesies and Cap'in Jack Sparrow), Stranger than Fiction (love the premise, will need see Being John Malkovich) and a toss up between Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (I love this English comedic duo, love the uptight policeman in Hot Fuzz and the array of sporting equipment used to kill zombies in Shaun of the Dead)

4 places I¹ve been: Cleves, Germany (Anne of Cleves one of randy Henry VIII's wives old stamping ground); Sapporo, Japan (S's hometown and where fortress out-laws is); Napier, New Zealand (loved the art deco buildings); The Big Pineapple, Sunshine Coast Australia (world's kitshest and shabbiest theme park).

4 places I¹ve lived: Lambassa, Fiji; Higashimurayamashi, Tokyo, Japan; Richmond, Queensland Australia; Singapore (presently and for a whole 17 days)

4 favorite tv shows: Dr Who (all, tragic but true); Mr Bean (man that program has saved my bacon so many times in English conversation classes); South Park (Starvin Marvin saved my final teaching prac.... Long story but I became a fan of those crass ijiots); Pride and Predjudice (Mr Darcy coming out of that pond, man that was a common daydream fantasy during my 2nd year at uni).

4 favorite radio programs: None here. In Australia Margaret Throsby's interviews on ABC Classic FM (listen to the pod casts most days here); The Hamish and Andy Show (love the A-Team rip off at the beginning); Radio National Breakfast (amazing what you hear) and The Media Report (interesting who is in charge of our 'news' and how they shape the information that we get).

4 favorite foods: Curry, Chillies, Chippies (the potato chip/crisp kind), Gin and Tonic (hey it's not a food but my reward at the end of most days)

4 places I'd rather be: Chatting with Donnie; anywhere but with my out-laws WHEN they are preaching at me how to be a good housewife (notice that I did qualify when I did not like their company); anywhere near water (got a view of the complex pool from the study, I can live with that); with my family

Okay now I need to nominate who I am going to tag. Definately Kwoozy, Hurrah! (Have you seen the awesome gift she gave her niece for her first birthday?? If not check it out!), Breaksville (who I haven't heard from for awhile...), Floating World

Donnie, I just couldn't help it, I had to explain myself. Wish I could tag you though.

Better late than never...

Friday was a huge day at my place because a very special little CT turned the big one! She was born on Wednesday the 14th of March 2007 at 1:48 am. Won't bore you with the gorry details. Just that she was an emergency c-section and that I can tell you a lot about the back pain. It is amazing how much she has grown in one year from this,
Arrival of Nina Yamaura 010
to this
Happy Birthday CT
in the space of 12 months. Belated happy birthday CT sweetie the sweetle deetle darling home wrecker.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

A Year Ago

Can you remember what you were up to today one year ago?? I can. I was a woman on a mission. The obstitrian's receptionist had called me on the Friday (March 9) to tell me that I would be induced on the following Thursday (March 15). I had sort of expected this. My Saturday was going to be busy (yoga class, baby shower and dinner...) so I was determined to get all the final preparations for 'Aidan' (was positive that CT was a boy and had been calling the poor little vegiemite Aidan for months when I was alone) done on Sunday and Monday and have Tuesday as a complete rest day. So I madly went about the jobs that could be achieved on a Sunday afternoon in Perth. My friend Jane's birthday present was a priority and I waddled as fast as that heavily pregnant body would let me. I wasn't going to be late for her birthday last year. (Though this year is another story my dear...) I know I did other jobs (but that is where my memory is hazy) but didn't get everything done. At about 10pm today last year, I had to get my bag packed properly (and not just have the stuff thrown in it) and clean through my handbag. By midnight my abdomin and back were uncomfortable apparently this was the beginning of labour. All I knew was that bag had to be organised immediately!! This was the start of Miss CT sweetie making her grand entrance....

Monday, 10 March 2008

Arab St

Hi a short and sweet post tonight. So many things to do and so little time. I finally have a sewing table so I am in business. 2 1/2 weeks of not much on the crafting front has nearly driven me around the twist.

Had a busy, busy weekend as a family. Though S encouraged my sewing by taking me to Arab St on Saturday afternoon. I have fallen in love with this place!! Not as many trim or button places as I was hoping for but the linen, the cottons, the silks, the tulle and the bells. Bliss. I will be going more often. CT had a ball looking at stuff. While I was looking at the linens I was wondering if this was where scrapabee gets hers here and thought of i heart linen and Chara. S was the every inch the proud Papa carrying her around while I oggled and started planning various projects. S also encouraged a visit to trip to Spotlight to go and find appropriate patterns for me to make myself some linen clothes. Sometimes he really surprises me. There is some eyecandy below of my weekend 'haul'... Once again flickr will give you a better idea of what I have been up to.

Thursday, 6 March 2008


I am such a lucky girl I now have my very own sewing room set up. Well I exaggerate a touch, I still need a table to sew on. I have already decided that we need a new dining room table (much to my husband's chagrin) because the one we have has lovely scratch and florist paper stains. I know it's a round dining room table but it is one of those expandable numbers so it with be a different shape.

I am also excited about the view!! Check out the photos here, here and here. One day I will work out how to blog my photos without the links. I am hopeless...

Oh I had help fixing up the room. CT thought it was a grand adventure so I did not feel guilty about not 'playing'. She pulled out as much as I put away and had fun touching all the stuff, standing up and playing with the fabrics.

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins
Originally uploaded by Ayama-chan
Yesterday, I spent the majority of the day doing lots of rearranging in various rooms in the apartment. I needed to create something but have promised myself that my sewing is not going to escape from the room S has kindly let me have for my sewing space. So I made banana muffins instead. I had three very very ripe bananas, too ripe even for CT's questionable banana quaffing taste. I can't remember where I got the recipe from but I like it a lot because you do not need scales and it is so easy. It is actually a cake recipe.

1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 eggs, tsp bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 1 tbsp milk, small bananas mashed together with a few drops of vanilla, 2 cups self raising flour.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating each in well. Then add bananas, milk and soda, lastly fold in flour. Bake in greased tine in a moderate oven 45-50 minutes. Ice with lemon icing (optional).

Vola yesterday's batch as you can see from the picky.

When making them for CT I add more bananas and less sugar. You need to balance it out with a bit more vanilla. And if you are not a 'sweet' person this is not a very sweet cake.

Monday, 3 March 2008

I'm back

... But then again I wasn't gone, gone. I just had technical difficulties posting at my temporary digs... Everytime I tried to log into blogger, I crashed my parent's browser. So I went on blogging hiatus until I moved to Singapore. Believe it or not I am literally sweating away on this post in this island nation.

What have I been up to?? Go here to see what crafting/sewing I have been up to (among other things...) I also helped a teeny tiny bit on an awesome quilt Donnie is making CT (Will stick with Happy's very un-PC nickname for my little girl). A lot of running after the now incredibly mobile home wrecker was where I spent most of her waking hours and I will be honest I lot of time in front of the zombie box in the evenings or hanging out on flickr. Lazy I know.

I have over committed myself with swaps because quite frankly I will need things to do to occupy myself while S the incredible box unpacker (he may be stingy but I will hand it to my hubby for unpacking all but four of our boxes. Lots of redecorating/organising will have to be done. But he has done the hard yards. Thanks S), is at work. He is a lawyer and it sounds like his new job is going to be quite busy. Seeing that I don't know anyone at the moment and so I have interests other than reorganising/little girl rearing, I want to do some creating.

Swaps coming up on the horizon are:
a)Group swaps
Easter Bunny Chicks Swap, Mother Goose Swap
b)Personal swaps
My Purple Crayon, Kwoozy and Painted Fish Studio

That should be enough to keep my out of mischief. Now all I need is a table to sew on as well as a tidy-ish room. This is my space at the moment. Aren't I just lucky to have my own creating room???