Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ninth Sewing Project: My Audrey Dress

There is a hoarder in every one of us. My list is numerous and one of them (cultivated last year) is downloading dress patterns. I'd downloaded the Audrey Dress last year from here (Selfish Seamstress). Always wanted to attempt it but never had the time or enough motivation to start on the project.

So when my company's annual dinner theme was announced - "Movie Stars" - I decided to dress as Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's (photo taken from Google Image search)

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Christmas Miracle

The year-end has been relentless. What with the last few Board/Board Committee meetings to round the year up and the scramble to meet our divisional KPIs and getting sick twice within a span of about two weeks. The first - thankfully everything worked out fine albeit the unavoidable visits by Murphy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Baju" for my Sensation

Polka dots, flowers, butterflies and the colours of the rainbow. A girly list for a not so girly girl. I can't help it, I just like them so much! And I can't sleep till I get hold of them. So I hunted down the cheapest bargains on eBay and bought them all at one go. The credit card bank actually immediately called me up to verify the purchases made!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

My Theory on How I Got My Phone

There's just something interesting about e-commerce. At this point in time, I've only been exposed to business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce. It is fascinating how online sellers can offer products for much cheaper prices than that of the brick-and-mortar shops.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Malaysia Needs More People Who Think Before They Act

Sad to say, I have lost track of the recent happenings in Malaysia. For example, I had only heard about the Himpunan Sejuta Umat this morning. So in an effort to decrease my ignorance, I Googled it and found this article in The Star Website.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Goodbye Aunty Kook

There are times when only weeks or months later do you only realise the importance of that little impromptu act/step taken. Today's post will be about just such an event.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Can't Stop Staring at Backside

Changing handphones is not a regular thing I do. In fact, ever since I started having one eight years ago, I've only had four. I have only intentionally bought one phone so far, and I'm not talking about my latest (that was an accident!).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Eighth Sewing Project: Batik & Uchiwa Small Bags

My weekend project was to sew a farewell gift for my good friend who is flying off to Tokyo (probably for good) the week after next.

Uchiwa bag (US designer cotton) and Batik bag (local cotton)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Impatience Leads to Stalking

One of my job tasks is conducting company profile searches using the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), as and when Legal or any other divisions requests for a search. For a fee of RM13, we can print out the company profile of any registered company in Malaysia. The company profile will include details such as the address, registration number, authorised and issued capitals and the directors details.

As you may recall, I'd won a bid for a phone on Lelong.com a month ago. I hadn't receive any email or SMS reply on the status of my order (although I had email and SMS a number of times). I expected this as many feedbacks of the seller had pointed out this, besides the long delivery time. Although there are 1000+ positive feedbacks, when it comes to my own money, I tend to worry why it's taking so long.


So I decided to do a little digging.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Wedding of Two Dear Friends

It is an awkward feeling when you realise that you're not that young anymore, although you may feel it [young]. This was apparent when the bunch of us ex-form 6 classmates learned that two of our dear friends were getting married (to each other). I guess this wasn't much of a surprise to us - it was just the next natural step in their long courtship.

But what surprised me was when the [then] bride-to-be SMS-ed me asking whether I could be her bridesmaid! There were supposed to be the three of us, but in the end only J and I accepted the bride-to-be's request.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Wanting the Chicken Before the Egg Hatches

It was the Friday before the Raya week. I had a little "itch" to check out my latest iWant - the HTC Sensation. So we went to our usual phone dealer and I got to touch my iWant for the very first time (after stalking it for many moons). Learning of the price from the seller, I put it down and went home to stalk it virtually.

I'll admit, I started bidding to make the other bidder pay more and not because I had intention to buy the phone. It's evil, I know. I had brainwashed myself enough into thinking that I would never get this phone, just like my previous enigma.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Living with Their Eyes Wide Shut, Ears Alert but Deaf

It's been a while since I followed the news - in a way it was a blessing, being ignorant for a slightly longer period with lesser hours of heartache from the injustice of utter lies certain bloggers and media have cooked up. It is a wonder how the "person at the heart of this storm" is able to withstand all the pressure. Prayers for the blessed man who has proven that he walks the talk.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Disturbing Event

Facebook comments comes into the limelight yet again.

I posted a 10-word status on Fb and went for a siesta. After reading a news piece from the Malaysian Insider, I had felt the injustice in our country and like a true Gen-Yer, expressed this on Fb.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Zack's Lesson for Life


Zack, our miniature Doberman has a habit of dropping crumbs of food on the floor. Today's lesson in life is the effect of Zack's carelessness.

Teamwork: Though the crumb outweighs you, with a little help and coordination it can be moved.

That's all, folks! Signing off from the doggie world.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

God's House Trespassed

Today we heard from Pastor what really happened. It was as what was quoted by him in The Sun newspaper report. I haven't had the chance to search for what other media have been cooking up about the issue. But I can imagine, as this is Malaysia, and the true issue always gets side-tracked and some "smart alec" will raise other unconnected stories that would shift the blame from the perpetrator to the victim.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Hottie in the Picture

My uncle occasionally sends me forwarded emails in Vietnamese. And since I'm "buta huruf", I need Google Translate in Gmail to help me decipher the email. Half of the times I can vaguely guess what it's all about, but the other half I'll be laughing my head off at their translation.

One example is as below:

Asian hottie? Any where, any time, any information, any reason! LOL!!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Remember the Big Picture

It isn't often that I find forwarded emails worthy of a repost. However this was one that made me stop and think - zoom out from the pixelated view and focus on the big picture.

Heavy rains remind us of challenges in life. Never ask for a lighter rain. Just pray for a better umbrella.
- That is attitude.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's a No Go.

No email reply is always a bad indication. And a confirmation of this came in the form of a hardcopy letter via snail mail several days later. (but I still think replying an email enquiry is courtesy, regardless of whether it will bring good or bad news. Email etiquette would recommend for at least a neutral, vague reply rather than no reply at all)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Worship Night with Sidney Mohede

It was a busy day at work, with the farewell of our CEO and a thunder storm in the evening. I had to walk as fast as I could with my slippery Croc-like footwear from my office to the Ampang Park LRT station in the midst of a medium drizzle and plenty of lightning and thunder. At one point, I think a car honked at me just as a lightning bolt struck somewhere near me (I only glanced from under my umbrella a flash of light).

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Yellow

Today, Malaysian history is being made. The local TV stations are telling us lies - all having their "balls" clutched by the Government. But we are still able to know some parts of the true situation via the great Internet and international news agencies.

Friday, July 01, 2011

He Replied! "My heart skips a beat"

I have been diligently (but discretely) monitoring my inbox since April, specifically for one purpose. It seems I'm in a state of indecision again. I don't know why I keep putting myself into this situation, time and again. Excitement and disappointment, worry and ecstasy. Perhaps I'm still searching for my true calling. Or perhaps I don't trust myself that I could go far with the path I am/will be taking.

When Android, iPhone and Nokia 3310 Battles

It's really amusing how I manage to stumble upon funny things when I stalk my list of iWants. Currently the primary iWant is the HTC Sensation! I don't care whether it is lousier (feature-wise), thicker, heavier and more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy SII, I just love how it looks - the curves and lines.

Anyway, this is what I found on one of the lowyat forum pages and it really tickled me! I don't know where the person who posted it got the pictures from. (Disclaimer: I claim no copyrights for the pictures below as I do not know its origin. However I commend its owner/creator for creating at least one more smile {me} in the world with his/her good sense of humour) 

Monday, June 13, 2011

When Text Speaks

I have heard people testify that the Bible speaks to them. Many have said that the words/verses in the Bible literally leapt out at them when they were seeking life answers, often times in time of need. I, personally have had some such encounters but have never taken the time to record them down.

Therefore today I will do so

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Today I Learned What PA Really Means

Before I proceed, let me include a disclaimer: The following refers to a small portion of persons holding the said occupation and is not meant to generalise or be taken as across the board traits of those holding the said occupation.

Today I learned that some PAs (Personal Assistants) really take their jobs too seriously, and as a result turn into real PAs (Pain in the Asses).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Finding Angels in the Unlikeliest Places

Just when I thought my day couldn't get worse, it did. Last minute workload detained me at office till past 7.00 p.m. and when I finally got onto the LRT, there was this creepy smelly guy who sat next to me. I could see from the corner of my eyes (I purposely kept my eyes on my book all through the journey) that he was occasionally staring at me. I couldn't breathe properly for more than 20 minutes of the journey due to his overwhelming B.O. Yuck!

Anyway, let's leave that for another story.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

So it's OK to Surf Twitter While Driving?

It's funny how many times I've found my mind totally blank while driving alone. My reflexes would not even involve conscious thinking.

On the other hand, much of my internal deliberations occur while driving alone too. One such that I used to laugh at almost everyday was the traffic update board on the NKVE highway (which has been dismantled since 2 weeks ago). In its earlier days, the board used to display the traffic update on certain parts of the NKVE, such as at the Damansara exit or Jalan Duta exit. The updates used to read something like
Trafik sesak selepas tol Damansara
And then one day they (the highway concessionaire) changed their traffic updates to a standard message
Layari twitter.com/LLMinfotrafik untuk maklumat trafik terkini
 At first I was disappointed that I'd have to reach the toll in order to know the traffic instead of getting the update and avoiding the jammed route. Then it dawned on me how stupid the message was. The Government has been campaigning that the use of cellphones while driving is hazardous and here we have PLUS asking us to log on to our 3G network and surf Twitter for a traffic update, all while driving (because we only remember to check for traffic updates when we see the reminder on the board and the URL is plastered on it!).

Perhaps someone made a complaint and that's why the board had to come down eventually...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ooh La La! Sensational...

There is this pattern that I gravitate towards. Every few months I'll get the itch to "plan to buy a phone" (but ultimately never get down to buying one). This month's "flavour of the month" is the HTC Sensation.

The HTC Sensation (photo credit: htc.com)
This will sound superficial: I like this phone primarily because it looks great! Aluminium not plastic. Simple lines without any awkward protrusions. Smooth contours, not sharp edges. And in a way, it has some aesthetic elements of the Google Nexus One (which I still like, but might be a little outdated by now).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Green Tea Gone Colour Blind!


I ordered Honey with Green Tea (hot) at Pak Li's in Giant, Kemuning Utama today, and I go this instead! I asked the waiter what it was, and he said it's green tea... Well, it doesn't look, smell or taste like GREEN TEA!!! So either I'm colour blind or my taste buds have confused the taste of green tea with teh-O or I'm an ignorant fool? OR they're just too dumb to know what GREEN tea is or they're just a bunch of compulsive liars which claim to have on their menus something that they DO NOT HAVE.

Dudes, if you can't get a green tea supplier (for some reason), why don't you just strike that item off the menus?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Watching Gruff Rhys Live

Yesterday I skipped BTC's sports club pilates class to go watch Gruff Rhys live at MAPS @ Publika in Solaris Dutamas. Getting there was a trial. We made a few wrong turns trying to get onto the right direction of Jalan Kuching and in the end ended up at the place where mum and I had gotten lost at last year while trying to find Solaris, Hartamas. Anyway what matters is that we ARRIVED and had time enough to grab a bite at Old Town Kopitiam (which charged us extra for food we didn't get! and not to mention the SLOW service).

So happens that we chose a table diagonally situated to where Gruff Rhys was eating with a bunch of other people. Kharlal and Nisha were trying so hard not to stare! LOL! (I was facing the other way, so if I turned to look, it would be so obvious! haha). Well, at least we were being discrete. Unlike another group who came a little later and sat at the table next to us - the ladies actually arranged their chair so that they were facing the headliner of the night! *double LOL!*

When we went in, I was a little taken aback as the place was pretty small and everyone seemed to be sitting on the floor. Kharlal and I were in our heels - to compensate (as much as possible) for the disadvantage of height in a crowded situation - and in the end we didn't need them.

There were two opening acts - Free Deserters and Couple. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't really enjoy Free Deserters. My comments would include:

  • The lead guitarist is shredding when there isn't a need to - it disrupts the audience from hearing the song itself
  • I never knew a Gibson Les Paul could sound that bad! (this was the second guitar after the lead guitarist snapped a string from his first)
  • At times, the lead singer faced his back to the audience (hmmm...???)
On the brighter side, I think their last song was more radio-friendly, hence more palatable to the greater majority of listeners out there. (Sorry, no idea of what the title was)

I would say Couple was better overall. Their set was more of the Indonesian pop rock genre, which of course many would find easy to listen and sing along to. We did not stay for their whole set, but from the little we managed to catch, their songs were catchy and their leader had stage presence. And their female guitarist had either a sunburst Gibson ES-335 or an Epiphone Sheraton (my eyes are not that trained to distinguish these two apart yet).

And then it was the headliner of the night - one man band Gruff Rhys! (or like the Malaysian style: Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals!) What a breath of fresh air! He had a table full of "equipments" which were things like an old-school metronome (named "Trevor", if I remember correctly), a turntable, analogue synthesizers and some electronic children's musical toys we used to play with in the late 1970s or 80s and that sampling module that does repeats (I think Roland/Boss has one of those in their product line).

Admittedly I didn't have time to do my research before attending this event, however the songs that I knew were Shark Ridden Waters and Vitamin K. It's amazing that he could sing flawlessly and play his "modified" guitar 'upside down' (he said because no one told him the right way to do it lol!) with just one or two of his gadgets as supporting background sound/music and sound incredibly COMPLETE. And I didn't know that that 'fading echo singing' ending some verses were actually done lock, stock and barrel by him - without any vocal special effects etc.!

Gruff Rhys and his table of wonders
Rhys did a couple of songs with just this ancient wave synth tuned to a certain key (according to the respective songs) and it created this noise which made it sound NOT like a one-man band! He also had this small toy keyboard (with about 2 octaves or so worth of keys) which had keys that would light up when you pressed them... And this pair of sticks with wires at their ends which made electric lightning bolt sounds, and some bright red and blue plastic gun-looking thing that produced a pre-recorded tune when triggered... he used all these with the sampler.

Gruff Rhys with his "thunder bolt sticks thingy"

Another shot with the sticks lighted up at the ends
I know, I know, I should be talking about the songs he played... but it was just so interesting to see his "theatricks", poker-faced jokes and his multitasking abilities! Ooh, and he performed some Welsh songs, which we all couldn't understand a word of, but sounded so serene and peaceful...

All in all, I had a good time. It's not everyday that one can see musicians stripping down their act to the bare basics and using 'items that we throw out' as musical instruments. This just shows that "Old is [indeed] Gold!"

My ticket and the chop on the hand all of us received!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

My New Job

I've been a month in my new job and so far, it's been great! Perhaps I'm easy to please. As long as I don't fall asleep on the job, I'm happy. Although it's been a lot of drafting minutes, internal memos, circular resolutions, letters and filing, I've learned a lot, especially about the biotechnology industry in Malaysia. I never knew that most of the companies I used to liaise with during my undergraduate research project to order materials and reagents are actually BioNexus status companies.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fabric Frenzy

Last month, I caved in to another fabric frenzy buying. And this time, I ventured into the territories of real e-commerce - US fabric vendors.

It started with Pink Chalk Fabrics. They had a sale and there were so many beautiful cotton designs (although by the time I clicked half of them, they'd been sold out!). This is what I bought, which included some laminated cotton. The package arrived about two weeks after my online purchase was made. I must say that I was satisfied with what I bought.

Designer cotton designs

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Seventh Sewing Project: Polka Dots and Roses Wristlet

I figured that I would be needing a wristlet or a small pouch, that would hold my wallet and cellphone, for when I go for lunch. So I decided to try out this tutorial I found online.

Although mine didn't come out as nice as I would've liked it to be, but the important part to remember is that this is my first time and that it is usable! :)

The turquoise satin lining was from a whole lump of extra kindergarten concert material I found at home. And the grosgrain ribbon that serves as the wristlet handle is from a skirt I bought many years ago (I've thrown away the skirt months ago!

I just loved the cotton print when I saw it in the cloth store! And funnily, it looks pretty similar in colour scheme to the pouch in the tutorial.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Sixth Sewing Project: Polka Dot Pleated Skirt

It's pretty embarrassing to admit this, but I accidentally printed the PDF pattern out in the wrong scale and ended up having to modify the pleats to make more space so that I could fit into the skirt! Anyhow, it ended up wearable - that's the important part, I guess.

My polka dot pleated skirt

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Day in the Park

I am on my "Survey on Transport to KL" quest. The objective: to find the best transport option I have before I start my new job on Jalan Ampang.

I started out late at 7am, however after enduring the gruelling KTM Komuter train ride from Shah Alam to KL Sentral (where the only place my eyes could comfortably settle were on people's butts!), and then switching to LRT all the way to KLCC, I reached my destination at 8.20am.

With my survey done, I had nothing to do but walk around KLCC. But it was too early for the shops to be open, so I took a walk around KLCC park (for the first time ever! and alone!). To cut the story short, here's some shots I took (looking like a tourist, nonetheless).

A track for joggers in KLCC park

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Rape of Sarawak's Forest

Admittedly I have not been keeping up-to-date with the latest local news. I know that Sarawak is having their general elections next week and that the current chief minister just married a young Middle Eastern wife, in a somewhat hush-hush manner, while his son is being sued by an ex-wife for hundreds of millions (Ringgit).

And then I read this today. At first I thought it was just an exaggeration of facts by foreign media, but when I Googled for the actual satellite images and found them, I was really upset at the lies this politician has weaved for us. Imagine the indigenous people who do not have Internet to check all these information for themselves and are continually duped by this evil man and proceed to vote for him and his party of liars! This just makes me sick! Sometimes I really wonder when will these people taste retribution? It is grossly unfair that they pull on a sympathetic face in front of the people (voters) and behind our backs, they are sucking us dry like a two-faced viper.

If our politicians don't even have conscience, then they are not humans and don't deserve to be treated like one!

This Google satellite map image is just one example where anyone with a functioning eye can see what stark difference our Sarawakian rainforest and that of Brunei's are! The capillary-like things are logging roads (and the CM claims 70% of Sarawak's forest cover is intact)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Satan Fabric?

Today is my last day at work. And amidst preparing the weekend news, I was Googling on how to pre-wash Jersey fabric - my next sewing project, tentatively. (Awaiting my fabric shipment from Fabric.com - which includes 2 yards of Jersey to make a dress I found on Burdastyle!)

Anyway... this is what I found:

Satan fabric! LOL (literally did that right in the middle of office)
Clicking into the link, there was some dude who posted a long comment about Satan not being evil and that he would lead us to enlightenment (I mean seriously!?! Does he even know that it was purely a typo error? gee... from sewing to satan worshipping!) hahaha Sooooo many types of people in the world, huh?

Another comment wrote: "you know, i always THOUGHT that polyester was the fabric choice of satan…" LOL!!! Ah, some people really have a good sense of humour!

What a good morning laugh! :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Super Full Moon Tonight!

Yesterday I chanced upon this CNN news about the perigee moon that we are experiencing tonight - the moon at its biggest and brightest in nearly 20 years! This is due to the moon orbiting closest to Earth (its orbit is elliptical), at a distance of 356,577 kilometers.

I'd totally forgot about this until someone posted on Facebook that the moon made him trip and fall. Hahaha I know it's sadistic of me to be reminded this way.

Here are a few better shots I got with my redeemed gift Nikon point and shoot.

View from my gate (no zoom) - I know, if I didn't mention about the perigee moon above, no one would have thought this an extraordinary moon

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fifth Sewing Project: A Book Bag for Mom

On one of our trips to Kamdar, mom came across some remnant cloth in the curtains and upholstery section and asked me to make her a book bag. So after a few weeks of activities and procrastination, I decided to make the bag.

It took me a couple of days to plan it out (only during my free time), and after all the planning, I only used some of the ideas I had thought of.

The plan

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

As I Marvel At God's Timing...

The past week has been like a time bomb. I had a secret that I had to keep until the time was ripe. Every time I had a call, I would jump! I was restless in office.

It all started in December when I happened to chance upon a job ad on the MAICSA website. I had not planned to start applying for a new job until my CFM results were out (which should be next week), but this company had just the right background I was looking for. And although the ad stated that they required the applicants to have relevant experience, I decided to throw that point to the wind and carpe diem! I sent in my resume, after 1 month of deliberation.

There was no news for another month and I pushed the matter to the back of my mind. Just before Chinese New Year, I received a call requesting me to attend an interview the next day. As I was not prepared at all, I requested a reschedule of the interview and was granted one. After ending the call, I was kicking myself for making such an impulsive reckless request but was thanking God that it all turned out well.

So I had a week to prepare for the interview. Besides reading up on the company info, I tried to re-read my Corporate Secretaryship notes and memorise the forms and sections in the Companies Act 1965. I really didn't know what to expect - a technical interview or a general one?

On the interview day, I was almost late due to the jam in Shah Alam and on the Federal Highway. Since I was running late of my schedule, I parked opposite the housing area in Kelana Jaya, hopped on to the LRT and headed to Ampang. Reaching there in the nick of time, I had two written tests - to draft a meeting minutes and write an essay. As usual, I approached the tasks with an 'open' mind (literally open... kosong! panic attack!) but eventually calmed down and finished them. The interview itself was so different from what I had mentally prepared for. I guess my prayers were answered - God probably knew that I'd ruin things if I were asked any technical questions! :) It was a light-hearted Q&A with a majority of briefing by each of the three interviewers - a HR rep, division manager and division VP.

Somehow, I'd got the vibe that they'd actually already decided before meeting me and that the interview was just to double confirm. I had this similar feeling when I was interviewed for my first (current) job and that turned out well. Anyway, that was just what I felt and not based on fact or anything substantial. It ended with them telling me they still had 2 other candidates and that I would know latest by end of the week or early next week. I went back to PJ and discovered that my car had a MBPJ summon flapping on my windshield wiper! Oh well, I considered the summon as an investment in my future.

The end of the week came and it was past 5.30pm (end of working hours) when I got a call. Thank God I was alone in the office at that time - the guys were outstation and the girls were on leave or out of office. Coincidence? I think not. If it were otherwise, I think I would have ran out of office to answer the call (which would look really suspicious). The verdict was in - I'd got the job!

I was really happy and might have accidentally hung up on the HR lady. I don't know for sure. Their offer was what I had asked for. I was praising the Lord! When He opens a door, no one can shut it! Mum was the first to know. However, the CEO had to approve the appointment before an offer letter could be issued. Therefore at that point in time, it was only verbal confirmation. So I did not tell many people about it.

I had to wait another week for the offer letter to be issued. They sent me the softcopy a day after I submitted the medical checkup report. And then came the next headache - How to tender my resignation and try to negotiate a waive over the three-months contractual notice period that I was bound to.

This called for another appeal for help from God. Mum and Ah Yee joined me in prayer for a smooth resignation process. I was so nervous and had not even composed my resignation letter when I saw my boss on Skype (he'd been away from office for most of the week) and requested an appointment with him. Amazingly he had just came back from an overseas business trip and was planning to enter office later that evening.

When he did come in and settled down, he called me into his office. Before I could even state my purpose, he asked me, "Where are you going?"
Misunderstanding him, I replied, "Oh no, I'm not asking for a leave, actually I want to resign."
Then he replied back, "I know, I know. Which company are you heading to?"
I was thrown off track from my plan. I did not even need to broach the subject and it was done!

He then told me something that made me realise how great God's timing is. As he knew I was taking ICSA, he told me I could go with his blessings and advised me to learn as much as I can and perhaps one day, our paths might cross again. And as for the dilemma of my three-months notice period, that was also settled. Stepping out of his room, I really couldn't believe how it all went.

God is great! He has taught me time and again that there is no use worrying and trying to rush things. But somehow I seem to always go back to my mortal habit of over-worrying myself when something I want isn't showing up on time (i.e. in my timing). When He blesses it is always in the best timing - God's timing.

This has been my 'tagline/status' on Skype for more than a year: "God answers prayers, so let go!". It is really true and I have several personal testimonies. The moment we let go of the situation and hand it to God, He opens the door of opportunity that we have been waiting for. When will we start trusting in Him with all the situations in our lives? Hand over the steering wheel to God and let him drive our lives. (I know it is easier said than done. I for one am still trying to do that)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Don't Get Stuck!

Honestly speaking, I thought I was one of the lonely few who had this dilemma of questioning life at this age of mid-twenties. I'd even nicknamed it 'quarter-life crisis' and joked about it with my peers. When I read this article from RELEVANT Magazine (a friend had posted it on Facebook), I found some parts of it resonated with what I had been asking myself lately. And all this time I thought these questions were popping out from an idle mind - too free for my own good.

With the daily going-ons of life, it is sometimes more convenient to brush these insecurities off and instead try getting ourselves busy - ignoring the innate check and balance we have in-built into our brains. We drift through life in our comfort zone, trying to minimise changes - as they disrupt the predictable daily pattern. And when we finally realise that so much time has passed, it is too late to retract and redo what we missed out on.

What struck a note of recognition in the article was the part where when there is a get together with friends, we always tend to talk about our schooling days. Somewhat "stuck" in our younger days. Unconsciously we tend to gravitate to that direction. Why is that so? I don't want to be "stuck" in my past. I need to make a conscious effort to move ahead.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fourth Sewing Project: Little Wallet

A couple of weeks ago, while I was in the midst of my designer cotton-craze shopping spree, I found a locally-based cotton blogshop - d'amani cottontherapy - and coincidentally they were having their first giveaway! Three Valori Wells Little Wallet kits were up for grabs, and I was just so enamoured with the Matryoshka Russian Doll kit (together with the lovely Michael Miller Garden Pindot Cherry fabric piece). What we, visitors, had to do was become a follower of their blogshop and Facebook account, and leave a comment on "what do you love about being a woman". So I did precisely that. And surprise, surprise... I was one of the three winners!

The kit arrived right on my birthday and I was hoppity happy it was the Matryoshka Russian Doll kit (my first choice)!

Look how matching they are!
I know it only takes an hour or two to complete this project, but my schedule was just crazy with CNY around the corner, my (then) upcoming interview, numerous promises to be fulfilled and friends meetups to attend - all congruently successfully diverting my sewing frenzy away from the path to obsession.

I finally managed to complete this little project yesterday night. This is a brief (by my standard) narrative of how it went.

Arranging the cloth pieces and imagining how it would look like after sewing.
After sewing across the top of the pocket pieces. I think my interfacing was a tad bit too stiff - made my life difficult later.
All the wallet fabric pieces sewn together inside out. I know the sewing is a little out of line. I might have over-stretched the linen while guiding it under the sewing machine needle.
Turning it inside in/outside out. The stiff interfacing made this step very difficult and caused a bit of fraying to the linen.
This is how the Little Wallet looks after pressing, sewing up the side and adding a press stud.
I added a bow to the design, to cover up my 'messy' press stud sewing and also to embellish it (as usual, I have a knack of over-doing things!) 
I made another Little Wallet with remnant cloth chucked to me by mum's friend. I couldn't sew a press stud on the Batik one due to the fragility of the foil-like fabric.
P.S: Thanks d'amani cottontherapy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Time When I Went Fabric Crazy

Since sewing my first dress, I've been dying to sew a Buttercup bag or a wristlet with a zipper. And in preparing for that feat, I have bought a number of fabric pieces through online blogshops, as well as from the conventional brick and mortar stores. I managed to dig up some of the remnant fabric from many years of my mum's kindergarten concert costumes - although not all are usable, some are pretty neat to use as embellishments.

These are some of my stash:

loving polka dots, lace and stripes!
 Next, I need to find the time to make all I want to make! I must stop buying fabric until I finish my stash.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Now We Can Make Homemade Coke

Apparently the leaked Coca-Cola recipe has been floating around for some time, just that no one really knew it was authentic or not! This here is an interesting read on how the recipe's history (or some sort). Anyway, this is cut and pasted from that Gizmodo article (Just in case you wanted to try making it at home):


The recipe:
Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
Citric acid: 3 oz
Caffeine: 1 oz
Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity)
Water: 2.5 gal
Lime juice: 2 pints, 1 quart
Vanilla: 1 oz
Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color
The secret 7X flavor (use 2 oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):
Alcohol: 8 oz
Orange oil: 20 drops
Lemon oil: 30 drops
Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
Coriander: 5 drops
Neroli: 10 drops
Cinnamon: 10 drops

However, before you start, just a pointer to take note of... there is a very high chance that you may never get hold of the fluid extract of Coca in your lifetime. So if you're expecting to be the next hit with an imitation Koka Kola or something, you'd better forget about imitating that special Coke taste! hehehe

Monday, February 07, 2011

Did you know Barbie and Ken had split up? I didn't!

I was browsing through my Fb news feed when I came across this link. It was about a public vote on whether Barbie and Ken (Yes, the Mattel dolls!) should get back together! I didn't even know that they were 'together' (I thought Mattel just made a pair of dolls without much story behind the toy) or that they had split up in 2004! If you were one who's childhood revolved much around playing with Barbie dolls (like me!), you really should read Barbie and Ken's history together. Or even if you're not a Barbie fan, check out the pictures - you get to see how Barbie's face changed from the original 60's version to the modern one, and also the numerous facial changes Ken underwent (if he were a human man, he'd probably beat MJ hands down to the King of Plastic Surgery title!). And if you're hyped up after all that education, you can try your hand at creating Barbie & Ken history by voting on whether Barbie should get back together with Ken, or not.

Photo taken from here. I used to dream of collecting enough 'ang pau' money to buy this collector's item Barbie when I was in primary school. She was so different from the ones we could buy off the rack in Toys'R'Us in Subang Parade. Doesn't Ken look a bit like Carson Daly?

Photo taken from here. The first Barbie I remember having (or a better word would be 'inherited') was this 1984 Dream Date Barbie. I think my mum bought it even before I was around - she thought the dress was lovely! Anyway, I think I might have thrown that doll away a couple of years ago, but I remember keeping the dress. Being a kid, I'd naturally messed up Barbie's hair into a knotted tangle well before I realised it was a collector's item. Damn!
Photo taken from here. This is the latest version of Barbie and Ken (2010). Doesn't Ken look like a young Ryan Philippe?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year 2011!

Gong Hei Fatt Choy! Ang pau (or 'li xi') from 1st & 2nd day CNY
For the Chinese, this lunar new year brings forth the year of the Rabbit. However, for the Vietnamese, it is the  year of the Cat that has dawned.

This year's CNY was pretty much like the years before, but this time we visited aunty Sally's new penthouse in Mont Kiara. The view was spectacular! I don't want to mention too much personal stuffs here but from all the extended family we have, I think this aunty is the friendliest amongst them.

Spectacular view from the penthouse. And we didn't need to go all the way to Lookout Point (near Hulu Langat)  to get this view! You just need to have a lot of $$$ hehehee
And another special thing this year is... I got to see a real cherry blossom flower!!! I don't know where my aunt had bought it or imported it from, but the smell was quite mild and it looked great!

Cherry blossom in Malaysia! The flower arrangement was really nice, but I don't have a photo of it without people in it.
I wore the dress I made on the 2nd day of CNY. Nobody believed that I had actually MADE it. hahaha...

Anyway, instead of rambling on about what I've rambled similarly about in past years, here's some info about the Vietnamese New Year I've very recently learned about:

The Vietnamese New Year or Tet Nguyen Dan is celebrated concurrently with the Chinese New Year, as it is the start of the Lunar new year. The word 'Tet' literally means the node adjoining two internodes in the bamboo culm (stem), which signifies the beginning of a new year. The tradition of Tet is similar to that of CNY, richly influenced by Taoism and Buddhism (I think), with religious and cultural rituals. Red packets or 'ang pau' (li xi) are also given out by the elders to the younger generation during Tet; but instead they are called "mung tuoi".

A traditional Vietnamese Tet food is the Banh Chung or sticky rice cake. It is very much similar to the 'ba chang' (I call it "ham yoke chung") we have in Chinese culture. But instead of the triangle or rectangle glutinous rice dumplings we are used to during Dumpling Festival in Malaysia, the Vietnamese version is a squarish in shape. It has the same ingredients as 'ba chang' - glutinous rice, pork and mung bean - but the dumpling is wrapped in 'dong' leaves (whereas ba chang uses bamboo, pandan/screwpine or lotus leaves). Another difference is the rice is coloured green when we cut into banh chung - grandma made them when we visited her in Ohio last year!

Banh Chung. Photo taken from here.
The Vietnamese new year decorations also include the Chinese calligraphy scrolls and alter offerings of 5-8 types of fruits. However the feature that I don't think I've heard of in my CNY celebrations so far, is the New Year Tree or "Cay Neu". Cay Neu is a long bamboo pole stripped of its leaves, but leaving the top tuft on, and lucky red paper with colourful ornamental paper carp fish, clay bells, gongs, bows and arrows are tied on to it. Cactus will be used for the thorny base of the Cay Neu - I couldn't find in my brief Googling what this is for, but am assuming the thorns scare away evil spirits/devils. The ornaments are meant to chase away the bad luck of the previous year and red is supposed to scare off evil.

Cay Neu. Photo taken from here
There is a legend behind the Cay Neu. Long ago, the devil used to rule the earth. He took the rice field harvest and the people were literally starving. In a particularly good harvest year, the devil decreed that only the roots of the rice plants will belong to the people. Upon Buddha's advice, the people planted sweet potatoes the next year and the devil was cheated of his pillage. In revenge, the devil came up with another rule that the roots and the grown plant will belong to the devil. In the next crop cycle, the people planted corn and beat the devil at his own game, for the corn cobs grows in the centre of the plant. The devil then decided to take away all the land. With the farmers at their wits' end, Buddha consoled them and told them to make a deal with the devil, giving him gold for a promise that all the land under the shadow of the bamboo tree will belong to the farmers. As the years went by, the bamboo trees grew taller and in the end the devil had no land for himself anymore, and was driven out to the sea. The devil retaliated by attacking the village with his wild and ferocious beast subjects. The people managed to win the battle with Buddha's advice of making bows and arrows from the forest trees and mixing water with garlic and lime to splash on the enemies' faces.

Therefore farmers plant the bamboo (neu) tree in front of their house, as the shadow symbolises the land man acquired in the legend. The sound of the bells and gongs in the wind on the Cay Neu symbolises man's right to own the land and the bows and arrows remind us of the weapons used in the battle. You can read more details about Cay Neu here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Third Sewing Project - A Cath Kidston-style Tote Bag

Bitten by the sewing bug, I bought some Cath Kidston 'oilcloth' and some bag-making accessories from blogshop. When my goods came, I was a little disappointed as I had thought the 'oilcloth' was a clear laminated cotton material. Instead, it was like a synthetic canvas with a layer of pliable plastic backing. However it served its purpose and it was hard enough to make a bag.

I wanted to make this! Photo taken from here
Since I could not find a similar bag pattern online (I mean for free), so I stared at the photo and drew my own pattern. It did turn out similar, yet different - you'll be the judge!

I had only bought 1/4 meter, so I had to arrange the template pieces as closely as possible and no extra for the side pockets.
I don't know what people usually use to reinforce the bottom of the bag, but I used cardboard from a shoe box and  covered it with some polyester ribbon strips (supposedly for flower making). I had a hard time maneuvering the incomplete bag on the sewing machine.
The lining piece completed. After finishing the lining, I discovered the error in the design I drew, i.e. I did not give allowance for the bottom panel in the lining, so I had to unpick the thread and cut another piece of cloth to add in the bottom panel - hence, the polka dot bottom! 
I know, the binding/bias tape should be of canvas material, but I only had this pink ribbon string thing (the kind that teachers would use to tie the exam papers after counting them in an exam hall at the end of the session) lying around and I had to join 2 ribbons parallel to create a band broad enough to serve as the binding. As a result, it looks and feels too weak to be a bag handle. I hope I can find a proper material to replace what I have at the moment. Although I must say, that the pink ribbon matches the flowers incredibly! :) 
So there's my first bag! What do you think? Marketable? hehe

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Second Sewing Project - Organza Flowers


I found this page on Reese Dixon's site, and decided to try it out. With the limited scrap materials lying around my home, I made my first attempt at making organza flowers! I layered the organza with lining material (green flower), some shiny synthetic material (pink flower) and stiff tulle (which was not a good choice - it smelled like 'sotong bakar' when it started melting). I still need to work on the flower template though...

P.S: I know the colour combination in the photo looks really 'kampung' but I had to make do with what I had! ;)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

R.I.P Friend

It's really shocking to run through your Facebook news feed and learn that one of your friend has died. Today, a friend I knew from university died of cancer. And I didn't even know she had been battling cancer for quite awhile.

Although we were never really close friends, I just want to record a little something of our history together. She was one of the first few people I knew during orientation week - mainly because both of us were 'bananas' and coincidentally we were grouped into the same Chinese Community (CC) group. 

I remember the time when the seniors made us jog around the campus and we stuck together. That was the time I discovered she was a rocker chic - so totally different from any other Chinese girl I've known! We joined the KK12 orientation choir group to collect merit points, and that was where we met many others whose friendships we maintained all through our university days. Throughout my 1-year stay in 12th College (Kolej Kediaman Raja Dr Nazrin Shah), we would contact each other when it was our CC night meeting - making a pact to either attend or skip the meeting.

The bunch of us - orientation choir girls, as well as my other faculty friends - ended up joining AIESEC in our first year. In my three years in university, I joined the organising teams of a number of projects - most of which my 'late' friend was also a part of. We attended leadership camps, both intra- and inter-campus. And then we joined the management team in our second year - all of us (the active ones) trying our best to clinch exchange realisations. In my final year, I decided to put AIESEC in the back seat to concentrate on my final year project, while she proceeded to become one of the VPs.

We'd still bump into each other from time to time (while on campus). But after graduating, occasionally I'd hear news about her from a mutual friend.

Initially I thought she was the quiet kind - still water runs deep. After knowing her a little better, yes - I still think she talked less than the average girl (gossipy gossamer), but she was one who spoke her mind. She wasn't the kind who'd bend according to where the latest trends were blowing towards. She lived her life the way she wanted to, not intimidated by what others would say/think - a trait that most of us would like to have but lack the fortitude to follow through.

Rest in peace, my young friend - who had wisdom beyond her years.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Coming of Age

In Asian culture, it is common for the younger generation to address the elder generation with honorific suffixes such as (for Malaysian Chinese) "uncle", "aunty", "kong kong", "po po", "ah yee", "tai ku", "kor kor", "jie jie" and the list goes on. It is a show of respect one gives to another of a higher rank (in terms of family hierarchy).

However when one from the 'younger generation' graduates into the ranks of the 'elder generation', at what age is the cut-off point where we can judge who to address as "uncle" and "aunty" and who to address as our peers? When I was little, any friend of my parents would be automatically addressed as "uncle" and "aunty". But now, some of my parents' friends are around my age or slightly my senior by several years, so how do I address these group of people? Their affiliation with my parents would put them in the 'elders' rank (to me) but their age would classify them as my peers. And when meeting a mixed group of my parents' friends, how can I call some "aunty" and others just by name? I feel weird.

Whereas in situations beyond the domestic boundaries, sometimes I have to check myself from calling my boss "uncle", as I'm so used to calling elder people "uncle" and "aunty"! That would truly be weird, if I ever did!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Making My First Dress!

For those whom I chat with on a regular basis, this phrase would ring a familiar note - "I want to start sewing something!". Ever since I discovered Etsy.com, I've been craving to try sewing similar stuffs found on the site. Initially it started with bags - the printed canvas bags seemed to look pretty straight forward to make (I can't say for the actual process though...). The bags which I wanted to make had clean lines with neat pleats - which I thought was 'do-able'!

However I did not sew a bag as my first project. I sew a dress instead! And this all started when I wanted to buy a polka dot dress online but the online boutique seller had run out of stock. It wasn't a 'dress to die for', but it was something that had a feature I was looking for - a collar-like lapel at the neckline. I had no intention of sewing the dress myself until I saw bales of polka dot fabric in Kamdar, SS2 (we were looking for red fabric to decorate Ah Yee's dining chairs for CL's wedding, at that time). I talked about the fabric with mom for almost a month before impulsively asking her to buy a length while she was in Midvalley Megamall - and thankfully, the Kamdar outlet over there had it, and at a discounted price!

I really am thankful for my Ekonomi Rumahtangga subject (literally translated as House-stair Economics, but a more appropriate translation would be Home Economics or Household Economics) in high school. The little that I learned from the text book and teachers, I managed to use the knowledge in this recent project of mine! Call me obsessive or whatever, but I finished the dress in 2 days (over the 2011 new year)! It was 2 days because I didn't have the sewing machine zipper foot (let alone the zip itself) and had to SOS my mum's friend to put in the zip for me. Mom managed to weasel some lining cloth, measuring tape, thread snipper and pins from her too (well, actually she offered to give them to me... hehe).

As I was typing this post, I just realised that whenever I really want to do something but lack the equipments or something, God will always provide. Praise the Lord! :)

Anyway, lets take a look at a series of photos and commentaries.

The printed pdf design that took me so long to figure out the right printer settings to use and when I managed to print it out correctly, I had to stick about 16 pieces of A4 papers together!
I lost my fabric old scissors when someone left it in church after the December wedding. So I had to use whatever scissors I could find in my home - paper and hair scissors! (another kiddy paper scissors missing from the photo) What a tough time I had cutting the cloth pieces out...
All our pins had mysteriously gone missing, so the next best option I had was to use safety pins to pin the paper template to the cloth and cut the shapes out.
Safety pins weren't enough, so I used paper clips to keep the cloth and paper template straight
The old machine's leather strap snapped, so I had to sew using no foot paddle, only my hand (gloved, to minimise friction lacerations) manually turning the wheel!
Finish product. For the lapel, I had to recycle a discarded lace scrap from one of mom's altered sleeves, many years ago...
People have said that the dress looks nice, but I'm not too sure they're just being diplomatic and encouraging or it is the truth! Anyway whatever motive is behind their comments, I think it's not such a bad first sewing project! My mom's friend (who helped me sew in the zipper, and so happens is our tailor) said it's not bad, neat... :)

Moral of the story is... if you can't buy a dress that you want, take a photo of it and try sewing it yourself! I have many photos... but not enough time.