Sunday, December 05, 2021

New chapter

I made a decision, so major that I didn't know how to start this post. 

I have resigned! I have resigned from my job in Singapore. I have finally taken the big big leap.
That leap I was contemplating for the longest time.

It's funny how the heart really knows what you want. I remember an immense feeling of peace came over me when the decision was made. I believe it was also the peace God gave me after answering my constant prayers.

My roller coaster ride began in September. In fact, I think it already began when Malaysia imposed the lockdown in March 2020. The day before it, I said goodbye to my boss and colleagues, the temporary kind, thinking it was going to be just a week or two maybe. From then, I was working remotely in JB, doing whatever I can online. But deep down, I was feeling bad. My primary role required me to be IN the lab, preparing samples, supporting all the experiments of my colleagues projects, learning new lab skills etc. So I geared myself towards learning new softwares, proposing targets for the first time, keeping up with presentations and willingly taking on any administrative processes that my team needs. 

Along the year of 2020 and beginning of 2021, I had actually asked my boss if I should leave as the border was closed for too long and the uncertainties were increasing, but he kept saying it was fine and not to worry about it. But my stress and guilt were growing and eating me. I wasn't at peace.

Then one day, my boss told me that his boss, and his boss's boss have 'raised a concern' on the team's bandwidth. They needed more hands. With that and the border uncertainties, I was given an option to enter and stay in Singapore, or....

I already knew my decision. And for the first time in a long time, I felt something heavy was lifted off my heart. But of course, there was still some room for second thoughts. Are you sure you want to leave a good company?Are you sure you can give up the SGD?

A lot of are you sure questions that week.

I work in Singapore for my family, and I gave up my job in Singapore also for my family.

For whatever reason, I believe God will lead the way for me and open many more doors for me here in JB where I can finally feel like I really belong to. I'm scared but excited. But more excited!

Looking forward to blog more consistently xoxo (aiyaiyai Ally you gonna jinx this up?) 

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Cute mini ball drawstring pouch DIY Tutorial

Frankly, I don't know what these little round pouches are for, but they're cute and it makes me happy making them. I could decide that they are for keeping your favourite golf ball, how random is that, heheh.

If you would like to make one (to keep your favourite golf ball), here we go!

First, cut these out. I used a takeaway container lid, quite a big one by standard to make the half circles. Choose whichever width you like, mine is about 17cm wide here.

Align one 'tab' fabric with a half circle fabric. 

Fold in both sides of the 'tab' fabric to sew the hem, while leaving enough space for the hem of the pouch as indicated by the arrows here.

Repeat the hemming for the other 'tab' fabric.

Now, fold the hemmed 'tab' fabric and place it between the outer and lining half circle fabric pieces, right side facing each other.

Proper alignment is the key here.

Sew along the top.

Looks like this when opening them up flat.

Now, place the right sides facing each other.

Again, proper alignment is the key here. Align one side to start sewing the pouch.

Remember to align the other side as you sew as well. Leave a 5-6cm gap at the middle of the lining

Turn inside out through that gap opening.

Check the sides to see if they're aligned.

Blind stitch the opening.

Thread in the cord strings at both sides.


Not kidding when I said it's for keeping your favourite golf ball..teehee.

It could also keep your earphones, cables or other tiny knick knacks that always get lost in your tote.

And how could I not make more! The amount of fabric to make these are small which was great for me as I had a lot of fat quarters in my fabric stash.

Such a joy to make these little cuties!

Zakka pouch

I had quite an intense and busy few weeks with work. It seriouslytook over my entire being that all I thought about the moment before I sleep and the moment I wake up, is work. It was both exhilarating and stressful. After it was over, i just had to make something like these.

Something zakka, something zen.


I can finally take a breather... until the next work wave!

House number DIY

Make your own house number, no nails, no drilling, you just need a laser printer and decoupage glue coat Mod Podge.

First, create your number in your desired font and size on Word document and print it out using a laser printer. If you're using inkjet, you will need to have it photocopied. The rule of thumb is, the print must be carbon-based. 

Then, tape over the numbers with regular cellophane tape.
Cut out the number close to the edges and soak in water for 10 minutes.

Rub the paper off the cellophane tape, it comes off quite easily.

Coat a layer of Mod Podge on the wall surface where your numbers will be. Then place the numbers on the coated surface and paint another coat on top of the numbers and around it.

This is actually my second time doing this because we had our exterior walls repainted with a fresh coat of white. The first one lasted very long, in the all kinds of weather, surprisingly.

Simple and unique!

Fun with concrete and cement dye

 More fun and experimentation with cement, this time with new moulds, yay! But first, I must give credit to the hubz who made me an adjustable platform for my concrete project.

The adjustable legs are very useful to ensure an even surface for the cement to dry.

New silicone moulds I bought from Lazada and Shopee

I had this Rayher cement powder for years! I tried this, together with the regular cement grout

Still works!

The Rayher cement is the darker one

The elites ones.

Here's the thing about conrete work, it's never perfect all the time. Some will come out with more 'voids' on the edges and surfaces due to formation of tiny air bubbles while hardening. Sometimes it's possible to salvage the 'voidy' ones by smoothening it with rough rough sandpaper (lower number)
It's amazing how different shades of grey is produced from the same mix.

I also bought some of these cement dyes to try; terracotta brown, red and black. Basically, I prepare the regular cement mix as usual and add a few soup spoons of the dye to mix.

The terracotta colour is my favourite. I had expected the black one to be solid black but seems like I have to add more dye to to it. The one I made is just a darker shade of grey.

I've made so many I don't know what to do with them. I guess I'll keep them until a craft fair opens one day. 

Friday, May 28, 2021

Burdened by life

I've been sleeping so deeply, surprisingly. It's those kind that when you lie down and close your eyes, you're instantly gone. 

And I wish I hadn't woke up. Because every time I do, I get hit by a hundred questions. The same questions that bludgeon me and leave me battered for the rest of the day until it's time to close my eyes in the dark again. It's a pain and healing cycle that I can't come out of.

Can I quit my job in Singapore?

What should I do? 

Can we actually survive without my SGD pay?

Can we afford our children's education if they need to go to private colleges?

Will I have enough resources of time, energy and finances to support my separated aging parents if they need facilitated living?

Can we save enough for our own retirement in order not to burden our children?

Who am I kidding here?


Will I be so happy that I regretted not doing this earlier?

Or will I be so miserable that I regretted doing this?

How else can I afford the weekly shopping at the grocers? 

I turn to God all the time. Pray for peace in the heart. Pray for strength and perseverance. Pray that He show me the path I should go. Pray that I follow His will. Then I would doubt that my decision will be right. Lots of doubts. Lots of arguments in my head. 

Obviously, I searched for answers in the internet. I liked what I found, here.

"Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you" (Psalm 25:4-5).

And this customized verse:

Dear Lord, I come to You because I'm in need of direction. Remind me that the world can't offer what I deeply long for, nor does it hold my future, but You certainly do. Thank You for guiding me today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

This remains my challenge. To strengthen my faith and truly believe that He will sustain me if I quit my job in Singapore.

I'm also comforted by this.
1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for us”

Jesus so loves and cares for us that we can cast all our worries, burden and anxiety for him to carry. 

Keep trusting, keep praying!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Zakka Patchwork Bags

 I think patchwork is here to stay. I have tonnes of fabric scraps and fat quarters, and I love mixing and mis-matching, that's why.

Trying to match and put together a patchwork is not as easy as it looks, it really does take some effort and decision-making in the process before you look at the final match and it feels right. At first you might look for ideas and inspiration on Pinterest and IG but at the end, it boils down to your own inspiration and the fabric collection you have. So I think patchwork is hard to copy and it's really personal. It can also have different themes! Here, I made some zakka themed patchwork pouches, which features a lot of natural linen texture and simple pop of colours. One of my favourite the checkered themed one. 

I wished I had more variety of vintage French linen, those with simple red lines at the sides. Those are hard to find! I hope to land on a pile some day... tee hee.