Sunday, September 30, 2012

Celebrations : On the Joys of Gifting

Tis the season for gifting again!! I stepped into IKEA two days ago and they already had their Christmas decorations up for sale! Goodness! Is it me, or did this year just fly by?

The end of the year always fills me with excitement. It begins with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas. I start to plan hand-made gifts for family and friends around the end of September. This year I intend to make some cozy lap quilts for J's family. Very ambitious, so I better get started, because before you know it, BAM, the holiday season will be just around the corner!

Gifting always makes me fuzzy inside. I don't know if I'm the oddball, but I prefer to give than to receive. I love planning, making and finally wrapping the gift, with a specific recipient in mind. The process is taxing, but it is so rewarding when you see the faces of your loved ones receiving something you had so carefully crafted.

Some of you might remember my ambitious twin sized quilt project. Here is the finished product. My friend was quite speechless when she received her gift, she sat and stared at the squares for a while. It was totally worth the blood, sweat and tears (in retrospect, of course).


I also bought a stack of Eric Carle's Brown Bear Brown Bear fabrics to make a baby quilt for my friend's son. It was a happy coincidence that Brown Bear Brown Bear was Dex's favorite book. Here he is, playing happily on his quilt.

eric carle quilt

That said, receiving gifts is always a lovely surprise. I hadn't had the time to post, this was from a while ago, but Jess from Avant-Garde Living sent me a personalized cross-stitch in a gilded frame. Isn't that awesome? I was torn between displaying it or sewing it onto one of my canvas tote bags. I finally decided to display it in my craft room.


Finally, my dear friend S, surprised me with a lovely musical box in the form of a sewing machine! She had fretted about how I would be able to carry it in my luggage, but I made sure I had room for it! It is a miniature old fashioned sewing machine with a step pedal, complete with fabric and a presser foot that moves up and down when you wind it up! Too cute!


Happy gifting season!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Celebrations : My sister's wedding


This is the reason I went home. My little sister is all grown up! Check out her lovely cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress typically worn during Chinese weddings. The dress belongs to my mother, who wore it to her wedding! Best of all, my sister didn't have to alter anything , it was a perfect fit! Amazing, right?


Here is one of my favorite bits of Chinese weddings : the suckling pig. It is one of the groom's gifts to the bride. This, and the gatecrashing in the morning, before the tea ceremony. The groom has to overcome a series of obstacles / games before he can enter the bride's home to pick her up. My sister and her bridesmaids were very lenient towards the groom and his groomsmen. They only played ONE game - the groom and his groomsmen had to drink glasses of (really sour) lemonade, before the girls would open gate to let the guys in.


Not that easy, as it would seem...


Here is another picture of the lovely couple.

Congrats, my little sis! May you two share a blissful blessed life together!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's the beginning of celebrations....

Beginning with J's birthday!

Happy birthday baby, I love you more than I love sambal belacan!!!

(And that's saying a lot. Singaporeans never joke about their food.)

Yes blogging world. I'm back! Can't wait to catch up on all your blogs!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Long haul flight to Singapore

Every time i fly home, I tell myself, never again.

But of course, year after year I buy myself a ticket, and brace for the worst.

Wanna see the itinerary?

Charlotte --> Houston (2 hr 41 min)

Houston --> Moscow (11hr 30 min)

Moscow --> Singapore (10 hr 25 min)

Total distance: 12,065 miles
Total duration: 24hr 36min (28hr 39min with connections)

Before I can even get over the initial jet lag, my two weeks will be up, and there I go again. Back to Charlotte on that nightmarish flight schedule. Why on earth did I move halfway across the world?!!

One major plus point this time is that I am travelling on Singapore Airlines. I don't know if you've had the opportunity to be on this airline, but I'm proud to say it is one of the best, for the following reasons:

1. The Singlish (Singapore English) spoken by the cabin crew make me immediately feel at home. I converse with equally spirited Singlish.

2. Every time I wake from my sleep, it's meal time! They don't give you a chance to feel hungry.

3. Their ultra long complimentary drinks list, ranging from scotch to riesling to Singapore slings. I don't need no sleeping pills, just bring me 5 Bloody Marys and i'll sleep like a baby, I promise.

4. Awesome inflight entertainment -- I watched 2 movies, 2 documentaries and created my own playlist which included Regina Spektor! Who?

Except that i think I broke my inflight entertainment from pushing the buttons too much. Then I was reduced to reading on my Kindle, and having depleted my battery 10 hours later, I contemplated on demanding an upgrade to business class. But I didn't think they'd buy it, so I weighed my options and settled on subjecting myself to heavy drinking (which I don't mind one bit!) It was La-la-land, pretty much after!

P.S. I'm typing this in the dead of the night, just because jet lag is unforgiving.

Sweet dreams, my friends.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crafting: Elmer the patchwork elephant Inspired Quilt

Sorry for the long absence!

I have been focusing on my upcoming vacation, and all the projects I was supposed to have done, but procrastinated.

Here's one such project: my friend S ordered a twin-sized quilt from me about four months ago, and one week before I leave for Singapore, I get my ass down to doing it. She wants to gift this quilt to a friend who loves elephants like I do! S told me to design the quilt with Elmer the elephant in mind. I didn't want to make it too childish as it is a quilt for an adult. But Elmer is a patchwork elephant, I have to make a patchwork quilt! The more colors the merrier!! I just hope it's not going to be too heavy. I have to pack it into my luggage.


Day 1 of the Labor Day weekend:
Frantically cutting squares into triangles, only to piece them back into squares again.
I have a vague sense of futility...


Day 2: First quadrant. And then 5 more.


Day 3 : Quilt top is finally done. I have to go get some batting tomorrow, and some more fabric for the back of the quilt before this is completed.

I used Michael Miller's Fairy Frost Collection of 50 different colors. No, I didn't go out and buy 50 bolts of different colors. Thank goodness for Etsy, I bought 4 packs of quilting squares, all nicely cut up for me to use!

But for now, time for some well deserved rest. I need to get back to reading my very exciting Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

This has been one intensive Labor Day (pun totally intended, *guffaws*)

What did you do this Labor Day weekend folks?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...