Monday, December 21, 2009

Saturday Project

Saturday was rainy. It stopped and started and stopped and started. That's how it went the whole day. So we spent the day indoors and I decided to finally start on that pair of pants I'd wanted to make her.




She likes making creative use of her clothes: the original pair of funky pants I got off Etsy. See how snug it fits?




The pair that I made her with the original pair on top of it for good measure. You can see how lose the band is around her head.


It took me about half the day. And...it turned out to be about 2-3 sizes too big. The sizing was deliberate; based on the original pair, I'd marked the seams larger on the new pattern. What I didn't realise was just how big it turned out. It's so big that we could probably keep it for a year and she could still fit in it after that one year.

Yikes.

I never was much of a stickler for measurements.

I guess it's back to totes, pouches and storage after this.


Enterprising Pixel



Pixel's plagued. Since sis and I started putting objects on his back, and now that we know that he can stay still long enough most days so that said objects don't fall off, he's getting harassed on an almost daily basis.

Latest in the line up is hubby's miniatures. I think the Enterprise looks pretty well-balanced on his back, even though he looks like he may be tempted to swat it right off.

Chill, Pixel.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Her Mother's Daughter




The small fry is into channeling me these days. It never ceases to amaze me how much she sounds like me. All the inflections of my speech, she picks up. The ah's, la's, hah's...I say a word or phrase once and she picks it up, sometimes without me even realising it.

In hearing her talk, I realise what I sound like. I've discovered I have a collection of choice phrases: be careful; wait ah...; ah see, I told you, right!; what's going on?; are you ok...?; hah, what happened?; so funny la, you; oh, it's ok....; aiya!; what else?; can or not?  It almost feels like it borders on narcissism (on my part, not hers), her imitations of me but the accuracy of her speech and actions, as a mirror to mine,  bowl me over in their hilarity and their sincerity of intent.

She really wants to sound like me, act like me and be like me. She really is a mini-me.

Her attempts at being me are tempered by her innate character: she is more reserved like her dad. She is only active and a chatterbox amongst friends and family. She is shy around strangers, sometimes painfully. She is more apt to be bullied than be the bully, although I'm not so sure that is such a good thing. The only one she bosses around and bullies is Pixel (maybe her parents too but then again, parents are exempt). I can't teach her how to stand up for herself...yet. Before I can tell her to stand her ground, she's already given the toy/book/object to the other child who wants it from her. And I haven't seen her fight back. Yet.

When the time comes, I hope she channels a little more of me other than the way I speak. Not because I want her to be me but because independence and assertiveness (sometimes aggressiveness) can stand one in good stead and propel a gal a long way.


Sir Valiant



Pixel the Valiant bearing up with stoic patience as his humans decide to use him as a display of sorts for RPG figurines.

He's not happy but he doesn't full out object to being used as a shelf.

In truth, he looks more like a fat-bellied vase than a shelf.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Abundant Patience



Here he is: the well of abundant patience.

And a morass of flesh and fat.


I'm not sure if it's the fat that insulates him and allows him to take whatever it is that the small fry has to give or if he's just ... dense.

I'd shoot for dense. In every sense of the word.



Friday, December 18, 2009

It Happened Early One Morning

We woke one morning to the sound of rain outside the windows. Because we sleep with the windows open, we can normally hear when there're showers.

After the hubby had closed the windows a bit to save the floor from the rain, we fell back to slumber.

Not a minute later, we heard a surprised "Oh, what's going on?! What's happening?!" coming from the small fry's corner of the room.

Next, we heard a scrambling and then a thud on the bottom half of the floor-to-ceiling window and "It's raining! It's raining, Mummy!" She'd run to the window and had her hands pressed against the window and was peering out with an excited glint in her eyes.

She then ran out of the room proclaiming excitedly, "It's raining, Jona! It's raining!"

And a very good morning to you too.

Trying To Hold A Pose




So here she is, hair a mess, shirt tumbling and legs akimbo. It just so happens that she is dressed in various shades of pink. The socks are mine, everything else is hers, including the impish look.

She's been pulling out the handstand for me every time I whip out the camera now.

This was the first shot off the 50mm. Still the best of the lot.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Things We Can Put On Pixel's Head And Back

On my sis' last day here in S'pore, we spent an amusing afternoon balancing a variety of the small fry's toys on Pixel's back and head and taking photos of them.


Sis took the pix and she assured me that she'll post them up when she's free.


So here's a list of the things we balanced on the fat cat's back:
  1. A variety of balls
  2. Small fry's wooden teapot and a teacup on saucer
  3. Wooden toy salt and pepper shakers
  4. A wooden cheese sandwich
  5. A platter with egg, sandwich and bun on it
  6. Various plastic shapes on his head
  7. A book
In all our attempts, the boy was more than obliging to keep still. Right up until the salt and pepper shakers at the end; they rattled and he wanted to swat at them. And then I told sis that maybe I should do a photo a day with different objects balanced on the boy's back or head.


Now there's a thought.



Wish List

I just chased the small fry around and tried to get her to do multiple headstands just so I could get a good shot of her trying to stand on her head with her top tumbling down over her chest.


It took me four shots and various settings to realise that the 18-200mm lens wasn't gonna cut it, even with the flash. I'd had it on for my trip to Dubai and hadn't switched it out yet. While trying to placate the little show-off, I hurriedly switched to my 50mm.


That's when I realised how much I missed the wide apertures on the 50mm. It was well worth the placating, the fending off (small fry LOVES to get a close up on what I'm doing and more importantly, wants to try her hand at it) and the fiddling.


First shot off the 50mm was a stunner and a keeper.


Hopefully it'll be posted up soon.


Now I can think of a few lenses I'd like to get my hands on for Christmas, sigh.



It's Raining Indoors



She likes umbrellas. And opening them indoors. Walks around with it in the apartment and tries to shelter me from indoor rain. Final stop: the couch to watch Sesame St.


Making Something Out Of Something

I've always been a sucker for making things with my hands. I'm not too good at creating things from abstract ideas or coming up with my own designs but give me a pattern or something to follow and I'll be more than happy to reproduce it.


I've gone through almost the whole gamut of crafting when I was young: cross-stitching, crocheting, knitting, embroidery, felt stuffed animals, beading, those knitted animals/dogs you comb out the yarn to make furry (no idea what it's called). I would have done tatting if I'd known where to get the equipment.


I also loved helping my aunt bake and make cakes, paus, bread, and even pastry. Her sturdy Kenwood mixer was my favourite equipment to operate. I loved that industrial strength mixer.


In secondary school, I opted to do Home Economics rather than boring old Commerce. And boy, did that turn out to be the right choice! My most memorable experiences and happiest memories of school can be distilled from those three years of Home Ec. and the havoc I caused in cooking class (mistaken ingredients, tiny teacups, sporting teachers and great friends) and the quiet times during sewing class.


My 'crafting' genes may have skipped my mom and gone straight on to me as most of my aunts on both my parents' sides have some sort of love for sewing or baking or some form of handicrafting. My mom has no love for it. She can operate a sewing machine (she made me my favourite pyjama pants all the way till I was in college) and make great home-cooked meals but she's not one to 'craft'.


These days, with more time on my hands (??? well, discounting the 'jobs' that I have) I find I'm rediscovering my affinity for making things. Especially now when ingredients and equipment are so readily available as compared to when I was a kid.


It all started with the cooking. And the recipe books. Granted, I don't do gourmet nor gourmand. But I do like to try out a new thing more often than not.


Then I discovered Etsy. I mean, REALLY discovered Etsy. It got to the point that I would trawl through the site everyday just to look at all the pretty things on sale. And then I started buying them. Not much, but a vintage skirt here (and I absolutely LOVE my Etsy vintage denim skirt), a bracelet there, some groovy upcycled clothes for the small fry.


It was her upcycled pants that got me to thinking I could sew for myself too. And then I got the sewing machine. It spent a few months in the cupboard before I took it out and put it to use. First, I had to finish the cat that I was crocheting. And then there were other things I wanted to crochet.


I started borrowing crochet and sewing books from the library. Then I started ordering them from Amazon. Finally I started buying fabric. And dug up some scrap fabric I'd bought from a quilting shop. And then...



Tissue pouches


Tiny totes for tiny tots


My phone pouch with both my phones in it.



Doesn't it look lovely red?


Small fry doing groceries with the tiny tote.


A little bit closer on the tiny tote.


...it's still early days yet. I've got a stack of fabric that I've collected that I have yet to work on.


I don't have a top-of-the-line sewing machine. It's a pretty basic portable Janome with less than 20 different stitch patterns. I just want to sew, I don't want to craft on the machine. I don't even own an electric mixer even though I have thought I'd love to own a Kenwood. I just can't seem to justify forking over an arm and a leg for something I may not make full use of.


I'm planning and organizing patterns in always with a mental footnote to myself: finish whatever you're working on before you start something else. I have a tendency to start many projects but sputter out of steam halfway through and abandon them to their unfinished fates.


So this time, I'm trying to pace myself. I'm taking breaks in between 'projects'. I'm trying not to stock up on too much supplies. I'm trying to juggle all my 'hobbies' (reading, sewing, baking/cooking, photographing) with work commitments, yoga and time for myself and my family.


In the meantime, I've already slightly burned my second batch of banana-chocolate chip muffins. Nigella must not have her times right; 25 minutes at 190C doesn't seem to do it for my babies. At least I halved her recipe and burnt only 4 muffins and not a dozen.


Luckily I'm not one to be daunted. Burnt muffins are but bumps on the road to better, tastier muffins. A slightly sewed over tote handle is just a hiccup to a kick-ass funky messenger bag.


I have greatness in my hands and it shall be utilized!



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Daddy's 34th



Daddy turned a year older last month and in the ensuing flurry of activity, I forgot to post this up. We even forgot about the cake that a visiting friend - Adeline - bought on the night of the big day. Thus, the cake was paraded out the night AFTER the big day.


Of course, I also forgot about my own mother's birthday a couple of days later until she called me up to berate me about not wishing her on the day itself.


Yikes.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sophia Shoots

In her efforts to emulate mummy, the small fry has taken to wanting to handle a camera. Yesterday she wrestled my Polaroid 680SLR out of my hands, refused to let me teach her how to use it and snapped two shots of herself. At least she pointed the camera at herself and not some random spot in space.


Today, daddy let her use the Lumix to shoot till her heart's content. She went around the apartment with camera in arms and strap hung around her neck, taking snapshots of the rooms and her beloved toys, random objects and of course, Pixel.


Her snapshots will be posted on saku taku no ki.


Enjoy!











Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Siblings

If my sis and I weren't blood-related, I don't think we'd even be friends. We are THAT different.


I don't get how she can be so anal at times and she can't stand my guts. I'm not the most sensitive person in the world and she's got skin as thin as an onion skin. I'm loud and garrulous and she shoots me the evil eye when I get carried away. She's black-and-white; I'm all shades of grey. She's meticulous; I'm, well, I'm... .


Some time back, I elicited her anger when I inadvertently blurted a remark during dinner. I didn't know I'd caused offence till I realised I was getting the cold shoulder and there was a mighty frost coming my way not even halfway through dinner.


Last night sis texted me; she apologised for snapping at me over the phone. She'd had a long day and was tired, so she'd barked. Huh? I didn't even realise she'd snapped at me. Actually, she barks quite a lot, so maybe I'd just gotten used to it.


Bloody connections aside, we'd probably not give each other the time of day. And for all our differences, I do know that she's got my back. Of course, I've got hers. Oh, and we both love to read.


So, thank goodness for blood.


And thank goodness for sisters.



Why I Think My Cat Is A Dog

Sophia and Pixel. She only does this to/with him. She isn't this way with other cats. Thank gawd for that coz her behaviour borders on (probably is) cat abuse.

video

She's incorrigible. He doesn't know what to do with himself and with her. I don't know what to do with him allowing her to do what she does to him.


I don't think he's a cat. I think he's a closet dog.


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