Sunday, December 4, 2011


Just a few ATCs this week. I touched up a few of my previous cards for a Christmas swap,

and the following "T is for Teacup" and "U is for Umbrella" received from Sherry for the alphabet swap. It was a very busy week, stressful and tiring, and a few late nights too - preparing a tender, attending company D&D, watching a musical, sourcing for a new maid (yet again), and trying to clean up my house (some bugs overrun 2 of the rooms, thanks to my maid, and it seems to be spreading) :( Have to call in the pest control guys, they are coming on Monday, hope things will be better. On a more lightful note, we will be taking a 2-week break in China - flying off on Tueday!! It will be a cool, or rather, a very cold change (the temperature, that is) :)

The musical, a year-long wait, was W!LD RICE's pantomime - Aladdin. As usual, a well-loved fairy-tale was given a clever local twist and charmed audiences with its side-splitting comedy, heart-warming songs and snazzy dance routines. Asian Idol winner, Hady Mirza, and Singapore Idol runner-up, Sylvia Ratonel, made their theatrical debuts as Aladdin and Jasmine (in photo above). They sang well. Directed by Glen Goei, the cast also included Karen Tan as Wizard ABBA-k’adab-rah, Darius Tan as Widow Wong Kee and Juwanda Hassim as Genie of the Lamp, and some 50 young talents from the age of 4 to 14 as part of W!LD RICE’s First Stage programme. Karen and Darius brought so much laughters and delightful sqeaks!

The story and the twist - Wizard ABBA-kadab-rah wants to rule the world! He needs 3 wishes from the Genie in the Magic Lamp. But in order to get that – he needs the help of a boy who is pure of heart. In other words, he needs Aladdin! Aladdin & the Wizard go on a magical musical mash-up adventure as they sing their way to the Blue Mansion in Malacca to steal a magic ring from the fearsome bibik - Amelia of Amethyst Rise (left on the above photo). With feisty sidekick Jasmine (the not-so-little nyonya) in tow, off they go to the fabled Batu Caves. But what treachery lies in store for poor Aladdin? When the Wizard traps Aladdin in the cave & whisks Jasmine away to his harem of Single Ladies in the exotic land of Ukenastan, will it be courage, love or magic that will unite them? For local friends, you can still join Aladdin & friends (& fiends) on a GLEEful adventure that weaves pop hits and show tunes into delightful showstoppers! Aladdin is on till 17 Dec. Not an advertisement, but a recommendation for a good treat for the whole family.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holly and Tree - Christmas is Coming!

During the Nov ATC session in Bishan Library earlier on, we were introduced to the book "Ed Emberly's Picture Pie". It is a book for juniors, but such ingenuity! All the pictures are formed using only circles, or using parts of a circle. The top ATC was done during the session, but I added a bit more colours to the background at home.

It has been some months I have not taken part in doll ATC swaps, so I'm back for the Nov swap "Trees, Leaves". I realise I'm hooked on haiku, can't believe I actually came up with 3 in a row (including The Peacocks in the ATCs above)! The haiku I composed may not be fantastic, but I enjoyed creating them. A pair of the boy and girl went to Riitta in Finland.

Tatted little berries for the holly inchies I created for the Nov Mingle. I orginally wanted to tat the hollies too, but they would have to be pretty small to fit into inchies! I still find inchies amazing and challenging as I try to crack my brain hard to squeeze details into the 1 inch square!

It was time to upgrade my Celestial ring (hurray)! Is there anyone who doesn't like diamonds? I love these little stones. This is a dream for me - sure wish these were all mine but each would cost S$10,000 upwards, so I was only trying them and begging the sales person to let me snap a photo. Didn't quite fancy the extreme left one with the thick band, so selection was down to the 4-claw piece on the extreme right, the 5-claw and 6-claw pieces.

Eventually, I decided to go for the one with 5 claws. It's my lucky number, and the biggest and best graded stone among the few too. Thank you, DH!!!!

Christmas is around the corner, ok, not quite yet, but time does fly. Here's one Christmas tree that really tickles me!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Phantom Of The Opera 25th Anniversary Musical Concert On Big Screen

Do you fancy catching a musical theatre performance on the screen of a cinema? I certainly don’t mind, especially when it is only staged in another continent. Since the very first time when Golden Village screened the Metropolitan Opera productions of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor and Mozart’s The Magic Flute in high definition digital format on the cinema screen in Aug/Sep 2007 on the 22.4m wide screen of GVmax, most of us would have hope for more to come.

Last Sunday, I brought my 2 girls to catch the latest exclusive GV’s screening of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s and Cameron Mackintosh’s
The Phantom of the Opera, a live recording of a fully staged, lavish production of the timeless classic romantic musical of the haunted stage of the Paris Opera based on Gaston Leroux’s gothic novel of life beneath the stage of the Paris Opera where a mysterious masked man tutored an unknown to become the leading lady and fell in love with her. Set in the sumptuous Victorian splendor of the Royal Albert Hall and directed by Laurence Connor, this is the first staged version of the musical to be screened in cinemas.

This theatrical performance, a celebration of
The Phantom of the Opera’s 25th Anniversary at the London’s Royal Albert Hall on 2 Oct, starred Iranian-born Canadian actor, Ramin Karimloo as “The Phantom” and American prima donna, Sierra Boggess as “Christine”. The 201-minute screening included special guest appearances by Sarah Brightman, the original Christine, and 4 Phamtoms of previous productions. Personally, I felt that this particular segment brought the spine-tingling melodies to the highest level! Certainly well-worth the $25 ticket, but a pity my boy is not in Singapore now, he would have enjoyed it too.

First time I did something for the Halloween theme. Can you spot the ghosts in the “Halloween” inchies? The other sets are the “Fall Colours”. 1 of each set is going to Marjorie Grace-Sayers (USA).

These tatted motifs were finally sewed up to complete the hairclips. Joey doesn’t use such stuff, but Kristine will be happy to put them on her hair. Looks so lovely on her :)

Besides looking at the creativity aspect, I love making ATCs with educational value too. Learn idioms the fun way! I collected all those idioms that are related to music and songs and slipped them into a pocket in the ATCs. Hope my children and other recipients learn something from them! These were done for the Nov ATC session in Bishan Library to the theme "Music".

Kristine drew the 3 ATCs on the left below. I love her drawings, they are always so cute! Joey doddled the one on the right "Happy Treble Clef", adding confetti and yarn. Looks like it is having a goood time with a triple ice-cream treat!

I traded for 3 quilled ATCs with Au Siah Huay. Aren't they lovely? The "Cats In Love" looks so romantic! The first piece I received from Jennie Tan - "I Love My iPod" - her series of Music ATCs comprised of doddled heads and limbs with cut-out fashion.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Another Tatted Cross and Update on Swaps Received

I tatted another cross for Faith. This is The Yarnplayer's Eternal Rose Cross, a sweet and petite pattern. I tatted a few more of the roses, perhaps I should tat another cross or two, it sure looks so lovely.

For Lenna's Haiku ATC swap, I received a hummingbird from Rena Matus (USA), flowers from Siri Hauge Opdal (Finland) and autumn wind from Sabrina Hoeke (USA). Lovely poems everyone has composed! I think they are some of the more meaningful ATCs I have swapped.
Debbie H's inchies for Aug and Sep Mingles have also arrived.

Rae Ann's Sep Bees too.

Things are moving slowly for the last few of the Alphabet ATC swaps, but here are the latest received from Sherry Dreier (UK) - R is for Robin and S is for Sunbonnet Sue.

Spent last Sat with my girls at a craft shop doing some quick Christmas projects, they sure concentrated hard! We had a long day in the shop with all the make-and-take projects, giveaways sales and auctions.

I have not tatted paper clips for quite a while. Joey is having a sale in the school, so I tatted some old patterns for her.
In fact, Joey did much more herself. She tatted flowers and glued them on her doodled cards - 81 cards in all.

Finally, the children's exams are all over! More time for crafts!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tatted Bookmarks and Clip

I have been tatting the whole week for 2 colleagues who resigned this month. Although there are already a lot of floral bookmark designs out there, but I just love flowers so I came up with another one. I'm calling this "Floral Bliss".

Another flower - this one is a beaded version on a hairclip. Hope Cass likes these 2 gifts!

Faith would love cross, so I tatted Lene Bjorn's "Maria" cross-shaped bookmark in Flora 50 thread. There's still time to tat another small cross for her. More tatting to come!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tatting Classes!

This was the 2nd year I conducted tatting classes in Hwa Chong Institution, with 2 classes of 10 JC1 students in all. This time, it was an especially memorable experience for me - 2 male students in each of the 2 classes! Can you believe it?

All the girls did quite well generally, some learnt much faster and of course, some struggled harder. A bit disappointed that the boys in the 1st class didn't try too hard and gave up towards the end. The other 2 boys in the 2nd class won my admiration though - 1 managed to tat even better than most of the girls, while the other did struggle a bit to do the double stitch, but he never gave up and really sat through the hours seriously and improved his grip and movement!

Whether it was feedback out of courtesy or for real, most of them found the 5 hours an interesting and enriching experience. The 2 days were real tiring, but a great joy and break! I'm over the moon receiving feedback like "brilliant course", "really awesome skill to learn", "very knowledgeable and talented instructor", "passionate about her tatting", "helpful and extremely patience in guiding us"!

A great theme was set for the October ATC session in the Bishan Library last Thu - "Trivial Pursuit". Do you know this is also a board game? Read about it in Wikipedia here. I did my ATCs based on 2 facts - one regarding snowflake, and the other on hummingbird.

These were what I traded for - all different medium and theme!

T is for Turtle done! Following the same idea on the border as my previous alphabet ATC, I sewed a "t" border :) This is my last design for the alphabet series. I did it - I have finished A to Z with all tatted critters, and some alphabets even with 2 designs! I must take a photo of all the different alphabets together one of these days, they really look awesome together!

For 2 Sunday mornings, I accompanied Kristine to a national Chinese calligraphy competition and the prize-giving ceremony. Her school came in as overall champion yet again.

Kristine didn't bag the top awards, but good enough for me who can't even write with a brush! Her piece of writing is on the extreme right of the middle row.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kongming Lantern

Kongming Lantern (孔明燈) - it was said to be invented by the Chinese sage and military strategist Zhuge Liang. During the period of Three Kingdoms (220~280), Zhuge Liang was trapped in Pingyang (a city in ancient China) and he could not go out for help. However, Zhuge Liang, who was good at measuring wind direction, made a floating paper lantern to send out a message for help. Before long, he was saved by the army who received his lantern. Later, people call it kongming lantern as Kongming was the reverent term of address (i.e. Chinese style name) of Zhuge Liang.

I have only seen them in movies. Last month Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations at Kristine's school, we actually saw 2 been released. It would be a good guess that it was a first experience for most of us! See all the cameras and camera-phones snapping away!

Kongming lantern is constructed with a bamboo frame, covered with oiled rice paper and with a small candle inside the lantern. When the candle is lit, the air inside the lantern heat up rapidly. The density of the air inside reduces and the lantern rises into the air.

In ancient China, kongming lantern was usually used in wars. Nowadays, it is used for expressing good wishes (by writing well wishes on the surface of the lanterns), especially on Mid-Autumn and Lantern Festival. Kongming lantern is regarded as a symbol of “harvest success” or “well-being year after year”.
They really floated up and far, and soon out of sight even in the dark sky!

I love tatting bumble bees, especially this critter by Martha Ess, they are cute and fast to tat up. Here are all my bee inchies for the September Mingle!

Finally, I got my Y fabric ATCs done and mailed together with the Z ATCs to Sharon Scothern (UK) and Lyn Strauch (USA). They are a few months late, but they are better late than never. I was pondering on what to sew for the border, it suddenly struck me I could easily sew a "y" border. Just perfect for the alphabet!

And similarly, a long-awaited "Z is for Zinnea" from Merle (Australia).
My patchwork quilt is done up to the border - the result of 4 weeks of continuous hand-sewing. Next will be hand-quilting, more late nights!

See Valerie's quilt in her blog too. No prize for guessing - we're in the same class! It helps to have someone with you doing the same thing, movitating each other, having someone to listen and understand your frustrations and complaints.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Computer Is Back! New Fave - Haiku and Patchwork

My computer was down and was sent in for repair. It is finally back today, and so I'm also back with my posting!

Haiku ... I don't remember learning it in my school days. I learned about haiku from my boy when he studied it in school a few years back, and more recently, my girl in her Primary Three class. Interesting poetry - the structure - and simple too! Just 3 lines with 5-7-5 syllables respectively, totally 17 syllables, and they need not rhyme!

Lenna organised a Haiku ATC swap, it certainly caught my attention, and soon, I'm composing! My language may not be fantastic, but I'm proud to say I composed them! Here's the first attempt to translate my haiku into ATC. They were done for the Sep ATC session at Bishan Library for the theme "Transition". Mine were titled "Transition~ From Dirt Road to Concrete Road" - a pair of footprints on mud.

And the 3 ATCs I'm submitting for Lenna's swap - "My Favourite Time". Calico painted with water-soluble crayons, my haiku printed and mod podged onto the fabric, buttonhole wheels hand-embroidered on, together with a pair of butterflies I tatted, and backed with an acid-free cardstock.

These are all the 5 I did!

Going back to the September ATC session in Bishan Library, I did another set of cards for trade "Transition ~ From Caterpillar to Butterfly". I love this quote by Richard Bach - "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly."

ATCs I received from Rita (dog paper cutting - The Grey Hound, and the Stencil Wolf), Richard (Peranakan lady drawn with pen and colour pencils), Sor Huan (Mother and Child - dried plants with drawing in pen).

Did you know you can paint with those wooden disposable chopsticks? If you don't believe it, see these drawings everyone did with chopstick and Chinese ink in the half-hour!

The ABC's inchies I received from Rae Ann (USA). Cute!
Did I mention I joined a patchwork class? It's a beginner class on a weekly basis, so you know this is my first time doing patchwork. It's a small quilt with 6 blocks of 12" x 12" each. I'm hand-sewing the blocks, you can imagine how stress I am looking at all the patches of fabric! Ok, to make a fairer comment, it's stressful looking at the clock (speeding against time to complete my homework for the next lesson), but it's pretty relaxing to gather all those tiny stitches on the patchwork needle, and so fulfilling to see the blocks building up :) A triumphant feeling when the pieces meet exactly corner to corner, point to point!
Here are my 6 blocks all done up, going on to the sashes and corner stones. This was the progress in the middle of last week. I'm now sewing the border, and too busy with the sewing to take any photo yet!