Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Doll Bed from JARO

My mom used to bring me to JARO when I was young. It was such a magical place. At that tender age, I was already starting to adore rattan and fabric crafts. JARO ( Johor Area Rehabilitation Organization) is still standing strong today, just next to English College school or Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar along Jalan Sungai Chat. Why I love this place? It's nostalgic. It's located very near to the city, yet the compound feels so peaceful and secluded. It feels like you are at your grandma's place. You just have to be there to feel it. And most of all, everything they sell is handmade by people with disabilities. All my soft spots are there.

Recently, I dropped by and bought a few things ie batik totes, kitchen gloves and their notebooks. The familiar rattan and cane products still continue to be made. Things like rocking horses, armchairs, little armchairs for kids, rattan chests, picnic baskets, regular baskets and many more. 

Then I saw the doll bed that I think I had when I was young. I just knew I had to get it!
I didn't really like the fabric they used for the mattress, pillow case and blanket. So I decided to make my own of course!

It's just amazing to see that they still make this after so many years.
It really does bring back sweet memories.

I made a new mattress.

New pillow and quilt!

There were so many fabric designs I wanted to use, so I made it double-sided.
The quilt is actually just felt fabric. I made a quilt cover with two different designs.

 Here are the different combinations.

 Honestly, I didn't know what to do with a doll bed. It's a different story if I have daughters, or if I'm seriously into doll houses and stuff. 

So I guess it can be my iPhone's bed. 

And of course my ultimate question is... can I sell this? 

Anyway, if you are ever in JB, do drop by JARO and support them!

Monday, August 22, 2016

DIY Artificial / Faux Potted Cactus

I had a blast last weekend making these. I started with one, like I always do when I try something new. But since all the materials were all over already, might as well do 3!

You can get most of the materials from Daiso, like this green microfibre cleaning cloth and the terracotta clay pots. I already have mini white pebble stones, but I have a feeling Daiso might carry them in their gardening section. If not, just head down to any nursery and get a small pack. 

To make one cactus, cut 4 pieces of this shape (size indicated in the photo above)

Sew two pieces together, like a finger puppet, and turn inside out. With other fray free fabric like felt, you probably don't have to turn inside out, but I had to do it with this cloth because it tends to shed fibre pieces.
I also sewn the edges with zig-zag machine stitches.

And then place one piece on top of the other and sew down in the middle. So you'll get 4 flaps.

Fill it up with poly-fillings or cotton. I used a pair of forceps to push the fillings all the way in.

The cactus is done! Now, assemble the pot. I raised the base by filling 1/3 of the pot's bottom with the same poly-filling.

Then place the cactus is the center. While supporting it with one hand, fill up the surrounding area space with the pebbles.

Tada! I sewn one little felt ball onto the top on a cactus, just for decoration. 

I added typewritten banners for personal messages. This will make cool gifts!
These can be used as pin cushions too :)

My initial material of choice was felt fabric, but I couldn't find olive green or chartreuse. Mint will be adorable too! The hunt continues...
And I'm figuring how to ship these fellas if I decide to list it in my Etsy shop.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Letters To My Boys: "I Love You So Much"

Dear boys,
The both of you have been getting along quite well. You do squabble a bit, but eventually you'd be wrestling and laughing together again. You are both more 'connected' now, maybe because Darren is getting older and is able to grasp and understand more things now.

Daniel, you were into Clash of Clans, an apps game. You were quite hooked on it that it rang my maternal alarms. I didn't want you to get addicted, so I tried to control your gaming time. And then you stopped playing it. I was relieved. But then a new apps game got your attention. I have to say, Crisis Action really caused some crises at home. You'd become really angry when triggered by something small and unexpected, and you'd cry for an hour non-stop. This was a very very unusual and worrying behaviour. Nothing I said or did could make you stop crying. It was almost like trying to comfort a colicky baby. I thought it was part of growing up, you know, the hormones and such. I even thought you were possessed. Not kidding. I was scared, and frustrated. These outburst episodes happened 4 times within 2 months. I prayed for you to calm down, I prayed for answers. But every time I ask you about it the next day, you would say "I don't know". But eventually you revealed that you were scared of me taking away your Crisis Action game forever. This made me even more worried because no one should cry for an hour over a game. I didn't want that kind of unhealthy addiction. And then you had an outburst again. It was very bad. You cried for more than an hour, with screaming. I screamed at you. You screamed more. I left you to cry until you fell asleep. You missed lunch. Then you woke up and cried again for an hour. I didn't know what to do. You were unconsolable. I almost took you to see a doctor... or a priest. Gosh it was stressful. This was not what an 11 year old boy would do, I thought. Eventually, you 'woke up' from the tantrum. Dazed and jaded. And one day, I asked you about it again. I told you that if you couldn't say it, write it. And you wrote a letter to me. I'm not going to say the content here because I promised you not to tell anyone. But I do feel what you feel. It isn't fair. The youngest siblings always get their ways and it can be provoking. I am glad though, that you said I treated you fairly. I always make the conscious effort to do that. After that letter, the crying episodes stopped. I guessed you felt better after pouring out your heart. I wish you will continue to pour your heart out to me, even after you are all grown up. I will always listen and be here for you.

Darren, you are growing up so fast that it scares me how I will miss your babyness. Everyday, you say "I love you so much". Out of nowhere. Or when I'm doing mummy things like towelling you down after a bath or bringing you snacks. I wish this will last forever.

It makes me very happy to see you both happy and getting along.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Fire In My Neighbourhood

Last Sunday, every kid in my taman learnt a very very very important lesson, single-handedly taught by one boy, at an age of curiosity and mischief.. Yes, you guessed right, he is between the age of 1 to 25.

At about 5pm, the boys and I were leaving the house to go for a swim when I saw people standing along my jalan and looking towards a house opposite mine, next to it. Smoke was billowing from the back. Shit, this can't be good.

So we parked back in, and got out to find out more a.k.a. kepoh. Turned out, a boy was playing with fire in his room. He was lighting up a frayed thread hanging from his towel. And then the next thing he knew, his room was consumed by fire. Thank goodness, older brother alerted his mom whom I reckon quickly scooped her 5months-old baby and her 2 boys out of the house. I cannot imagine the shock.

The arsonist was sitting by a neighbour's gate, surrounded by 10 other kids around the neighbour who often play together. Every single one was asking him "Engko yang main api? Engko yang buat?"

That poor kid was looking so petrified. He was the naughty one, and he always had that look of mischief, but at that moment, he just looked so terrified.

Within 5-10 minutes, we heard sirens blaring. I must say, the bomba is quite fast. By now, almost everyone in the neighbourhood, even from adjacent jalans, were out on the roads kepo-ing together. Semangat muhibah. While Daniel was busy running around with his friends, I brought Darren to check out the back lane of the house on fire. The back room was in flames. FURIOUS flames. This is the type of fire that you see in real life and actually realize how destructive and deadly it is.

I think the fire was put out within 20 minutes, or 30? I lost sense of time. My neighbourhood looked like there was a pasar malam. The poor boy was still sitting in a corner somewhere, amidst the commotion.

The police and Tenaga Nasional came too. By 7 plus pm, the streets were cleared. The mother was with the police, filing a report, while a couple of firemen did their clearance. Some of her relatives were there too. I think most of her belongings are still in the house. As she was busy tying up loose ends, I heard her eldest son ask "Mak, esok pergi sekolah tak?" She had no answer. In that amount of stress, I think I'd break. I wanted to walk over and ask if she needed anything but I figured I should just let her do her thing. Another person coming into the picture could just snap that thin line, if you know what I mean. Maybe when I see her next time. Oh, in case you were wondering where the father is, he was in Perak and wasn't due home in a few days. This, truly is an endurance test for any mothers.

 The night was quiet again... Everything will be OK, I will tell her.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Feel like slapping myself

It's one of those days I want to bang my head on the wall.

I ordered some stuff from Taobao. Again, yes, again. I ordered padded envelopes to mail out my orders. More about this next time. And in the history of getting packages delivered to my house, my helper has failed to receive the packages most of the time due to various reasons. She would either be bathing, upstairs cleaning or in the backyard sidai baju. And she would claim that she didn't hear any doorbells. BUT THE TRACKING DETAILS SAID THAT THERE WAS A FAILED DELIVERY ATTEMPT AT xx:xx time. I wonder if these delivery guys go all the way to your house for fun, not press the doorbell, and then leave?

Or is it Murphy's Law. The delivery guys always come by when you are there but not there. Jahanam betul!

So, now I am mad at myself for forgetting to inform my helper about a delivery. Sheesh Ally, she was with you the WHOLE DAY and you were actually thinking about the delivery and you cannot open your mouth for just 5 seconds to say these words "I have a delivery coming tomorrow". And another 3 seconds to say "Please keep a lookout for it".
And I'm mad too at the fact that why there are failed delivery attempts when actually there is someone at home?

I. Just.Want.My.Mailers.NOW.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Keeping busy...

I made a new magnetic shopping list. 

Made one before.

Still getting stamps made. At this point, I am tempted to promote my Etsy shop on Facebook. But first, I will need a good photo for my banner.

Waiting for my next inspiration...

Vanilla Bean

Another cafe-hopping post. This time, we tried the Award-winning waffles at Vanilla Bean. Located right before the inner guard houses at Senibong Cove, it is rather private and cozy. Perfect for secret lovers and rowdy kids. Heheh.

The menu. Same style as See & Saw's.

 We tried the Oreo waffle and the Salted Charcoal Egg waffle.
Very good I must say. Slightly crispy outside, light and fluffy inside.
 Tinge of saltiness. Very subtle.

We'll definitely go back for more!