Monday, December 30, 2013

Cardboard Kitchen Set

I'm lucky I work in a place I can get cardboard boxes easily. On Christmas Eve, I brought home four and made these!

Some Fabric Shopping...

Spotlight at Plaza Singapura was having a big sale last week and scored these at 40% off. 

Oh my weakness..

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Mother I Once Was...

A beautifully honest parenting essay.

I think a lot of first-time working mothers go through it. Being in the prime of our lives, trying to be the best mother for the first time, trying to strike in our careers.. all at the same time. There were very little space for mistakes and enjoyment. Time was always tight. Everything was always moving fast. Husbands were blamed and flamed. And I am thankful for mine, who just stood by me and allowed me to evolve naturally to be the person I am today.

And most of all, to my firstborn, who has received all my music with grace. He is such a loving and sensitive boy and my heart is wrenched thinking about all those times I yelled and said mean things to him. I was just a messed up mad woman back then, huh?

But deep down, all I wanted to do was watch him grow while I say "It's ok sweetheart, mummy still loves you".

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Kraf Malaysia 2013

The Kraf Malaysia fair is on until 25 December 2013 at the big white air-conditioned tent at Plaza Angsana. 

I think our Malaysian batik is beautiful! I absolutely adore the simple dual-tone (or unicolour) ones. 
I bought these at the fair recently. 

 Short poncho-like blouse, to be layered on top of a camisole.
I think the batik designers should make more modern pieces like this one. It's such a casual classic!
There's so much potential in batik to be more popular in our country, not only to be worn during national official functions but on any days, wouldn't that be awesome! And also, some batik designs really make gorgeous gowns, especially those flowy ones. I just wished the colours weren't that 'clashing'.

 Men's shirt. I love the simplicity of this one.

Sarongs! But I'm going to use these as fabric to make stuff ( as usual)

A lot of the batik printers are from the eastern part of Peninsula Malaysia like Terengganu and Kelantan. It is such a beautiful traditional art which I wish I can someday get my hands on.

I don't know if I can take pictures of all the beautiful craft products there... worried I might get shooed off. But do drop by and bring something local home!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

JB's Local Craft Scene

Last weekend, I took action on what I think my life's mission is. I went to an arts & craft gathering sales organized by Arty-Party at Bar Banyan, as advertised on Facebook. First reason, get myself exposed to the local artists and crafter's community. Second reason, the event was organized to support Berkat's Children Home. This was a first small step.

There were around 13 stalls, 3 selling foodstuff and the rest were selling handmade jewelry, fabric bags, pouches, purses, soft toys, soap, keychain cozies, wood animal toys, cards, phone sleeves and artwork.

I brought my cards and pouches along and set up my dismal 'sale spot' on a barstool because I never reserved a stall ( I was too late!) It was fun anyway. Sad thing was, there were hardly any shoppers, even when the event was advertised on Facebook, on one of Johor Bahru's top group called What's Going On In Johor Bahru. Everyone there was stall owners, their friends, the Bar Banyan's staff and the organizers. Maybe there were shoppers after I left 3 hours before their closing time.

I also met the Administrator of Berkat's Children Home. She's like the mother of the home. She told me to drop by the home to check out what services they need. I plan to volunteer tuition or craft project workshops. It felt good after I told her what I would like to do, but deep inside, I wonder if I can do it.

After 2 hours there, Darren puked part of his chocolate cupcake..hahhaa. We packed and left. I bought 3 art posters by Chris Parry and a handmade bunny soap.

Then yesterday, I went to Kraftangan Malaysia fair at Angsana. It was a totally different environment. I have always love local crafts like rattan weaved baskets, decorative seashell hangings, and batik. OH I LOVE BATIK. It such a traditional classic! I think there should be more batik couture designers and more batik incorporated into our modern fashion. I bought some batik sarongs (will use as fabric to make bags), a batik poncho-like short blouse and a men's shirt. I think batik deserves a post on its own here.

Today, I feel the consumerism guilt. Yikes.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Still searching...

Found this inspiring article on finding your life's mission.


.."Rabbi Nivin offers two methods for discovering your mission:
  1. Ask yourself (and write down): What were the five or ten most pleasurable moments in my life?
  2. Ask yourself: If I inherited a billion dollars and had six hours a day of discretionary time, what would I do with the time and money?
When answering the first question, eliminate the universal transcendent moments, such as witnessing the beauty of nature or listening to music. Your mission, of course, may have to do with nature or music, but on a much more individual level than the high all people feel when they see the Grand Canyon. Although your mission may require hard work or genuine sacrifice, when you are engaged in your life’s mission you experience, as Rabbi Nivin puts it, “This feels so good that I could do it all day long.”

"One more point: Fulfilling your individual life’s mission does not exempt you from your global missions, such as supporting your family or raising your children. Starting an outreach center for the elderly may have to wait until your children are grown. Writing that book on internet addiction may have to be tucked into your few spare hours after your full-time job. Don’t worry. The God who assigned you your mission will make sure you have everything you need—including time now or later—to fulfill it."
I'm still thinking about the answers to the two questions. So far these are my answers:
1. What were the most pleasurable moments in my life?
-whenever I make my children happy.
-when I surprised Daniel with his room makeover.
-when I design and make something.
2. What will I do with the time and money?
-surprise my mom with her home makeover (her kitchen needs it)
-open a retail shop featuring designs and products from all over the world (home and stationery)
-design and find a production factory 
-open an art & science fun centre for children
-find an old house for sale, revamp and redecorate it, and put it up for sale.
-help poor children with special needs

I WILL start somewhere. And the first step is usually making that life-changing phonecall or email.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Where Am I

I am a simple and contented person. But a minute ago, I want to be those people in the news known for their achievements, like what you always read nowadays, "From waiter to $12mil worth restaurant franchise owner". How did that happen? I know for sure it took a lot of sacrifice, hard work, and initial investments and loses. What about luck? I'm sure it took a lot of that too. Will I be able to go through all that to be where I want to be? I don't know man... But lately I've been growing curious about being in the business world, the real world, the dog-eat-dog world and I wonder if I can do it.