Tuesday, 28 September 2010

My first swap

I just joined the Candlelight mat swap from Quilters Gallery. I am so exited, this is my first ever swap.

Do I hear, SWAP, what SWAP? The basics are pretty basic: you register, you produce a candlelight mat and you send it to your partner A and you receive one from your partner B (known or secret).

Simple! So what’s so exciting about it?

First, I have to work on a deadline.
Second, I am sewing for somebody I do not know but has the potential to become a friend.
Thirdly, somebody, with the potential to become a friend, is making something for me.
Fourthly, my partners can be anywhere in the world, yes – the whole world.
Fifthly , it is my first time.

O M G, O M G, I am SO excited! (Oops already said that :)

If you want to join, the link is here : registration form, pattern, instructions

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Special post for a special friend

Do you have friend(s) that you do not see enough, do not speak to for long periods of time and still when you meet again, it feels like you take the conversation where you left it, as if it was yesterday?

I do have a friend like this. I met Francesca a bit more than 13 years ago. Her daughter and my son were born a couple of weeks apart. We’ve always seen each other sporadically, even when we were both living near London.

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Francesca is Italian and a very talented cook. She is a beautiful painter too, talented home decorator and she is always so elegant (even in jeans and wellies). She is very demonstrative, when she loves something, she loves it out loud. I wish she started a blog or something about her cooking. I wish she would share her recipes with me. I wish I could enjoy her table more often.

In the meantime here are a list of blogs where I find my cooking inspiration:

  • Florence’s blog
  • A la table de L - tous dans ma cuisine: an invitation I’d love to take.
  • Cooking on Clover lane: I keep looking at this one, one day when my life goes back to normal (meaning, when I have to clean, wash, iron and cook all by myself) I’m sure it will be full of fast family dishes.
  • Donna Hay: Aussie web to go with the stylish Aussie magazine. I buy this one regularly, even if I know that after a while the recipes are going to repeat themselves. I love the page layout, the pictures. One day, my life will look like that.
  • Pioneer Woman’s blog: quite intimidating. Ree does it all: home school her kids, cook, blog, photography, life at the ranch, TV shows and much more… This is where the recipe for those nice chocolate and pecan nuts brioches came from.

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They could have looked better, but my oven is nuts and does not understand the concept of set temperatures! Waiting for the engineer to come and fix it (might as well until it snows in S’pore; those who live here will understand – never trust S’porians to be on time, they might come a couple of hours early or a couple of DAYS late!)

Anyway, goodbye from me, I now have to go and bake some carrots and pecan muffins for my monsters.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Code name: Project B I G L O V E

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Alice,
my first one,
the one that was curling up in my belly when I was stressed out,
the one that made a mother of me,
the one that make me cry whenever she cries,
the one that impresses me by her beauty,
the one that works and works until she succeeds,
the one that is now taller than me
this one

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told me that I never made anything for her.  Is that really possible? No, not exactly;
I sewed her christening dress, but she was a baby, how could she remember?
I knitted her a grey jumper, and I remember her wearing it for school over and over again.
I saw several other dresses, one she wore for her little sister’s christening paired with the little coat I did too.
I made her a quilt, but she found it too baby-ish (guess she was right).
I made her a second quilt, but it is not finished yet.

So when she said she wanted a knitted jumper.  I could not refuse, could I?

I bought some very nice wool and cotton yarn from Rowan, chose a pattern (Frenchy-stripy mariniere).

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And then Alice found this wonderful top.

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I know it is a lot of cables, cross-over and other tricky stitches, but I sure the result will look just beautiful on her.
Big pressure on me.

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k      B     k     B      k     B      k     B      k     B      k      B     k      B     k     B      k      B     k

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Is it Xmas yet?

  

One of the issues of living in a country where it is always summer is that you lose track of time. By respect for my friends and family back home where I know the gloomy weather has started, I will not tell you how much I miss autumn and winter, but...


Here in S'pore, time that passes is rhythmed by the banners that hang in the streets: June is cultural month, August is national day (and people keep the flag at their windows for months), September is F1 race and the cort├Ęge of roads closure, October we have the dance festival etc... Oh and I have forgotten to mention the religious festivals; the lantern festival is just around the corner with night processions and moon cakes.IMGP8904IMGP8903

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All of this bring me to Xmas. Soon the Orchard road will be ornamented with lights, balls, father Xmas... So it is about time that I start knitting and sewing for the occasion. I could set myself the challenge of hand-making everything but not sure I will be able to do it before running out of time.

Here is my wish-i-could-make-it list:

  • Kitchen apron
  • Set of dishcloth (6 in a set)
  • Commandant Cousteau's hat
  • Shawl
  • Scarf
  • Pin cushions
  • Market bags

Lady Gaia’s Vintage coat and hat are finished, and soon be on their way to Melbourne.

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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A new banner

I am revising for my Pilates exam and have very little time for crafting. Knitting is still very popular as I can knit a few rows now and then while waiting for the kids, while supervising homework, while watching American series (Mad Men – I love it, just have a look at the costumes!).

Today, I decided to change the look of this blog. I wanted something soft and a banner that shows my realisations, so you can enjoy my best crafted projects. Shall I mention that they are WIP – works in progress and require a lot of attention to details?

September banner

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Some knitting progress

I have difficulties at the moment to find the balance between knitting, sewing, organising the family routine, covering new books, attending school meetings, studying and blogging.  I do not want to see blogging as another obligation, but if I do not blog, there is nothing for me to see and consider as progress, and I might lose my readers (if I have any) ;(.

As the last couple of weeks have progressed, I think that knitting is taking over.

Fact 1: My friend Mandy is starting a Knitting group, first meeting is next Monday.  I thought: new meeting = new project, but before I MUST finish any knitting WIP (I said knitting, not crochet – I am not that ambitious).

Fact 2: MP’s Bb, aka Lady Gaia, has moved to Melbourne, Australia.  Poor little girl, she went from an endless summer to winter.  She has been wearing only nappies and Ts all her life, and now she needs gloves, hat, scarf… So she NEEDS a new cardigan and matching hat.  I am working on it.

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In the mean time, look how cute she is with the little hat I made for her months ago.

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Picture stolen from MP’s facebook album – sorry lah!

Fact 3: I miss Autumn and Winter, so to feel in the mood, I made myself a oh-so-soft shawl - Alpaga and Silk – wonderful! Still needs blocking though.

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Fact 4: We are going to Beijing at the end of October, therefore Alice would love to have a new jumper (I never ever do anything for her – Do I really love her?) Yes, I do love her, and much more than she can ever imagine, so I did agree to knit a jumper, and not the easy, fast, and stylish one I initially chose, but the one with zig-zag and bobbles, cables crossing over more cables, and a shawl collar.  For sure, that must count as love.

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Monday, 6 September 2010

Handbag make-over - iHappy

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I think I need a new handbag now :)