Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thank You to All my Swap Partners and Merry Christmas!

Nowadays, I enjoyed painting the background as much as tatting the animal. Here are the T is for tiger fabric ATC cards.
And another set of A and B cards especially for Mari in South Africa.
With Lyn's rainbow card (bottom) in, here's my complete set of R cards.

Gemini card from Karen Swiech (USA) and Libra card from Aynsley McKay (USA) have came in; still waiting for Virgo card to complete all the 12 signs. Love this collection, great theme!

This Christmas is special with these special Christmas fabric ATC received from afar - a beautiful silvery white Christmas from Eileen Carkett (UK) - so dreamy!;

a penquin snow globe (glass beads within a window) from Susan Cox (USA) and a felt wreath from Vicky Baker (Canada) - they came just in time for Christmas!

Thank you to all my swap partners!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pisces Star Done!

For 3 weeks, I have been working on these 12 Pisces ATCs. They are finally done and 11 of them on their way to their destinations. I don't know a lot of the techniques that my swap partners used, so mine are no-frill ones - painted background with water-soluble crayons, tatted lilac flowers and hand-sewn word. I did try something new - applying Mod Podge to the fabrics before I cut out the fish and Pisces signs. Cutting them with the scissors was so much easier, and no fraying at all! A touch of flat sequins gave the cards a sparkle!

Nowaday, whenever I see prints of people to fairy or whatever that look like a human form, I will start thinking how to cut them up and make them movable. These are 3 different ones I attempted: Furniture Man Comes A-Visiting; a 10-headed Indian King, Ravana, from the Indian story of Ramayana; and Butterfly Fairy. All will fold up and fit into the ATC-sized backing cards nicely.

I have received a "D" from Mari Strydom (South Africa) and a "R" from Lyn (USA). These complete another 2 alphabet sets. It's a bingo for "D" with all dogs! Will show the "R" set in my next post.
My tatted dog on the left, Sherry Dreier's dog at the centre and Mari's dog on the right.

Last Friday, DH and myself went to the Singapore Turf Club at Kranji for the first time with a pair of free tickets to the Hibiscus Lounge. It was block-booked, so we were issued with entry tickets to the Owner's Lounge instead. It was an experience watching live horse races in the lounge which has an excellent view of the racetrack, while taking dinner and placing a few bets!

Then on Saturday, I brought my girl for the Singapore Dance Theatre's full-length classical ballet performance - Sleeping Beauty, featuring music by Tchaikovsky and choreography by Marius Petipa. I think this is the first time for us watching a ballet, it is certainly amazing to see how the dancers expressed the story only be body movements, and of course, the mood by the music, without any dialogue.

I'll end with these 2 cards Kristine did for her Shichida teacher and piano teacher.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pointillism and Aother Great Sing-Along!

During A*Live December on Thu, Moses introduced French artist, Georges Seurat, and the technique the latter developed which people called "Pointillism" - using dots of paint instead of using longer brush strokes to create picture. We tried applying watercolours with cotton buds to create dots. Although the dots are pretty big, it was a fun technique; I love it, and just great for non-artist like me!
Traded quite a number of ATCs too: Going clockwise from top left "Christmas" by Selina Yeoh, "Owl Always Love You" by Rita, "Pufferfish" by Bliss (a 6-year old girl), and "Merry Christmas" by Richard Wee. Rita and Richared are retirees. Just to prove ATCs are really for anyone, young and old, and addicitive!

And these I got from my girls: Kristine's Big Butterfly, Lion is Puzzled (it's snowing and the lions don't know what is the white stuff!), Flying Fish and Joey's origami penquin with movable tail. Joey took my hole puncher and brads and started creating origami with movable parts!

I created more gingerbread boys and girls, all with 4 limbs and head movable - a hit in the A*Live trading session.
And for the Dec theme "Merry", I created these scrapbooking style "Joyfully Merry". Embossing dies work really well on these silver-coloured parchment papers.

Love the word "JOY" so much so that I tatted the candy canes, wreaths and snowflakes to sew up these fabric ATCs for the X'mas ATC swap. A lot of mails came in this week too. Here's Kath the Puppeteer's (US) Gingerbread Man. He's rather a big piece with silver icing, and really capable of every movement!

Next are the zodiac signs that landed: Hetty's (Australia) free-motion bobbin work "Aries", Susan Sawatzky's (US) "Aquarius" and Ann Seidel's (Germany) machine-stitched "Capricorn". Oops, I got Aquarius upside down, defying gravity!

3 "E"s - Elephant from Ann Seidel, Emu from Sherry Dreier (US), Eames Chair from Norma Mason (US) and the first X'mas ATC received from Sharon Scothern UK).

What is Eames Chair? I checked out and found this: The Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman (footstool) were released in 1956 after years of development by designers Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company. It was the first chair the Eames designed for a high-end market. These furnishings are made of molded plywood and leather. The chair is composed of three curved plywood shells.

What's so special about these chairs? Read on... there is a decent used market for these chairs. Some collectors are willing to pay high prices for earlier chairs made with Brazilian Rosewood veneer, which is no longer available due to a worldwide embargo since 1992 (as a highly endangered species). In 2006, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the chair, Herman Miller released models using a sustainable Palisander Rosewood veneer. Prices for original rosewood chairs have recently reached as much as US$7,000 in auction! WOw!

Had a late night yesterday at the Floating Platform @ Marina Bay for the 2010 The Great Singapore Sing-Along. It was a cooling night with the sea breeze after a late afternoon heavy shower, and set against a beautiful backdrop - the Marina Bay Sands which just opened its doors this year. Just like last year Sing-Along, I had a good time singing with thousand others, a mix of old and new songs, Chinese and dialet songs. Although my children didn't seem to know most songs, but they listened, and when had an encore back home, they could sing!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cinderel-Lah! to wrap up the Week!

We have started packing things for shifting, and the first thing to pack was the children's old school books. There was a stack of Chinese magezines which belonged to my boy when he was in Primary 1 and 2, and that was 5-6 years ago! Before they went into the recycling bin, I salvaged some prints, and here are some of them, just fitting for the theme "School Days" and just in time for the Nov ATC-doll swap! I coloured these black-and-white prints with marker pens and applied a layer of gloss over. All the backgrounds were embossed with QuicKutz metal embossing dies.

And since I'm working on the "School Days" theme, I couldn't help admiring this water-coloured print on a new magezine. I cut her out and applied the gloss over, put a brad on the shoulder, and off she goes, swinging her arm and bag :) Does anyone in Singapore recognises where she hail from ?

Margie Diamante's school girls dropped over all the way from USA. How different they look from Asian girls in uniform! Thank you, Margie!

Sherry Dreier (USA) sewed a very cute dog for the Alphabet ATC swap - see the "D" on the paw, great idea! And S is for Stars from Jennifer Morlock (USA). How I wish I could handle the sewing machine!

Meanwhile, I have also finished and mailed out my F ATCs.

More cards received from the Zodic series: Cancer from Debbi Baker (Australia) and Scorpio from Christine Faller (USA) which came in a very pretty fabric pouch! Such interesting composition!

We had a really good afternoon in Esplanade on Sunday at the W!ld Rice 10th Anniversary production of Cinderel-Lah! This was the 3rd pantomime my children and I attended, after Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs in 2008 and Beauty & the Beast in 2009. Set in an unique Singapore flavour, and with familiar cast (Emma Yong as Cindy, Sebastian Tan as Prince Char Mee, Chua Enlai and Darius Tan cross-dressed as Cindy's stepsisters), it was simply hilarious, especially Chua Enlai in his Wonder Woman outfit for the masquerade ball! Gurmit Singh brought on even more laughter in the roles of Ali and Jeya - beautiful Indian babe! Najip Ali as Fairy God Makcik added new elements of magic to everyone's delight.

In case you don't know, Christmas Pantomime is an uniquely British theatre tradition that dates back to the Middle Age. Although the original performances were mainly mime, Pantomime has evolved to include all acting styles. Slapstick comedy, satire, political incorrectness, snazzy songs, toe-dancing routines, cross-dressing, fabulous costumes and spectacular sets, audience participation and a Good versus Evil story that is strong on romance and adventure, and juveniles (children) on stage add the "Ahh!" factor. All these elements are brought together in W!ld Rice pantomimes. To sum it up, we won't miss W!ld Rice musical pantomimes even if we have to forgo all other musicals! This is not an advertisement, just our humble opinion :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Look What I Got ...

... in Miranda's Giveaway! A set of five blank cards, a skein of LadyShuttleMaker's "Pear Glace" HDT in size 50, another skein of Yarnplayer's "Leafy" HDT in size 40, a gift certificate to Handy Hands and a 2 1/2 inch David Reed Smith's post-shuttle in East Indian rosewood!!
Miranda also included a box of these cinnamon-favoured state cookies of New Mexico! Thank you, Miranda!! Received them just before I went on my trip ...

... to Shanghai! I have been to China only once, to Kunming in Yunnan, almost 10 years back. Although I would prefer Yunnan to Shanghai for the colorful ethnic minorities, Shanghai, as the largest centre of commerce and finance in China, boosts a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. The Oriental Pearl Tower (468 m tall, supported by three enormous columns that start underground) was the most unique building. There is also a roller-coaster inside, a short ride though!

The outdoor observation deck at 259 m high, built in May 2009, with a glass floor drew much excitment from every visitors, and of course, a number of legs also went jelly (my DH's too)!
Yuyuan, where the City God Temple is located, is the best place to go in our opinion, we went there 3 times over separate days! Can you believe that?

In the Metro station, on the platform, waiting for the train.

On one of the streets, there were lots of tourists and locals alike


Part of the Yuyuan Garden.

Here's where you can find a lot of things - food, crafts and souvenirs.

冰糖葫芦 - China's traditional candid fruits on a stick.

Here we were having 蟹黄灌汤包 (king-size crab roe soup bun) at this original 南翔馒头店 (Nan Xiang Steamed Bun Restaurant) inYuyuan.

And there is a branch of this famous restaurant in Singapore; we coincidently sat right in front of this banner! And guess what, I also coincidently found the restaurant without searching for it when I'm back in Singapore, and my verdict is that the food here (the branch in City Square Mall) is even much better than that in Shanghai itself, in term of quality and taste! The other 2 branches are in Bugis Junction and Plaza Singapura, if anyone wants to check them out.

And of course, we couldn't miss the acrobat performance. We did have a hard time finding the place on our own.

Couldn't get much of my craft works done in the past week as I was too tired from all the walking. I brought along my shuttles and threads to Shanghai, but I didn't even have time to take them out until the last hour when we waited at the airport for our flight back. I finished these "E is for Elephant" ATCs just before I went off. Hope to be able to get back to my crafting mood soon, in between the renovation of my new house.
The fabric Zodiac Sign ATCs started coming in: Saggitariuis from Pauline Mackenzie (Australia), Leo from Norma Riehm (USA), Taurus from Jan Ziebol (USA). Also a "Lace" ATC from Elizabeth Peters (Australia) on the bottom right. Thank you, gals!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

C, R, S and Moving On!

Another complete alphabet set - the C. We have 3 cats - my favourite animal! Going clockwise from top left - my tatted cat, printed cat from Mari Strydorn (South Africa), applique cat fom Ann Seidel (Germany), and finally courthouse steps, an old quilt pattern, from Sherry Dreier (USA). These are the R and S fabric ATCs from Victoria Sturdevant (USA). Must check with her how she made the Rooster card, my guess is she printed the rooster and R, and S is a sure sweet and sparking shoe! Love them!
Now my S cards - tatted skunk! This is my favourite one so far, in term of the composition, background - I have used all the greens I could get my hands on!

We had our monthly ATC trading session on Thu at Bishan Library. Moses invited Tia, to give us a little talk on drawing and colours. Tia is an architect and an art and design educator. Listening and seeing her pen and watercolour sketches made me so tempted to start drawing too. Well, perhaps, and I could start with something small, like on an ATC. The famous 4-storey pre-war buildings in Tiong Bahru done by Richard is a great example. Traded my gingerbread boy doll ATCs for Rita's origami "Sotong" and Pei Ling's Labbit #3 too.

All the body parts (head and 4 limbs) are movable, and the gingerbread boy can run away too (from the paper)! More are in the baking, and gingerbread girl too. He looks delicious, doesn't he !?!

For those in Singapore and perhaps in JB who are interested to learn to tat, I have a class planned over 2 Dec Saturday afternoons (11 and 18 Dec, 2 to 5 pm), at Knotty Bicsie's Studio located in Blk 467B, Admiralty Drive, with free shuttle bus from Sembawang MRT. Register with me or Betsy from now till 5 Dec.

I'll be flying to Shanghai/China on Wednesday, so if I don't response for the week, it means I do not have internet access! Really looking forward to the short trip.