Monday, 16 March 2015

Mother’s Days

Yesterday was Mother’s days in the UK.  Victor sent me a nice text for the occasion.  I was shopping when I receive it and it brought tears to my eyes.  I must have looked silly drying my eyes in the middle of the supermarket.  I was so touched.  I’m not big on this kind of celebrations, then I realised how much lucky to have three great kids which is like having Mother’s day every day.

I guess most parents feel the same.  Still it means so much to me that my kids get along, that they look after each other, that they have strong ethic, that they are learning to responsible young adults, that they appreciate what they have… blahblahblah…...

I’m not an expert in education, and I’m still feeling I have to find new ways with each kid -  whenever I think I know what to do, a situation makes me remember that there’s not one rule for all.  But I know a few things for sure:

  • keep an opened mind – it’s not because you don’t agree with what they say or want to do, that it is not worth considering;
  • be honest with your kids – it’s OK to say “I don’t know” or “I was wrong”, adults have no super power and make mistake;
  • trust that all the attention you give them is worth it – spending one-to-one time with each kid individually but it is oh so important;
  • listen, listen – as parents it is sometimes so easy to think we know better and forget that they are learning so much and that they want to share this new acquire knowledge.

Having said that, it’s still tough, rough, a bumpy ride… and I guess it is the kind of job from which you can never retire.

Desktop1 Lucky me, I have two more Mother’s day to come this year (the American one and the French one).

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Souvenir from Singapore

Yes-Yes-Yes, I finished my Japanese bag. Started 3 years ago during a workshop in Singapore. Rosie, the owner of Dreams in Quilts, has a fantastic collection of Japanese fabrics (the taupe, the textured, the earthy toned, the more-than-fifty-shades-of-grey...).  She had invited Kumiko Minami for a bag workshop.

On the day, the room was bussing with 25 ladies, Kumiko didn't speak English and she was demonstrating the tiniest hand appliqué, everything translated from Japanese to Singlish by a non-quilter (Singlish is the localised English spoken in Singapore, a mix of English and Chinese with an interesting local accent). And of course, the bag was to be constructed almost entirely by hand. Bring some good friends into the party and you can imagine that I didn't finish the bag on the day

Now burry the half started bag, the pattern (all in Japanese) and move a couple of times… then 3 years later, dig the project out of your UFOs bin… I’m an archaeologist…

Japanese bag
The assembly of the front and side panels were done by hand. Every flower has been appliquéed with tiny weensy little stitches. All the pieces have been hand quilted (my fingers are still sore). The handles had been set by hand too (more sore fingers). Only the final assemblage has been done by machine. I've changed the inside lining - I did not like the fabric from the kit and I had the perfect match for the bag, a print of a map of Paris, France and Japan having long lasting connections.

Japanese bag2

Japanese bag1