Saturday, March 8, 2014

Straw Bags Obsessed

Did you notice - straw bags are everywhere lately?  Or have they always been popular but I've never paid attention to them as they were not (ahem), leather or (cough, cough) branded?

Of course, the crafter in me started scrutinizing every little detail, convinced that I could easily re-create the bags. Most times, I will be frank, my obsessions end up as big fat flops. A result of my over-ambitious imagination that, sadly, far exceeds my crochet / knitting skills. 

Still I continued to populate my Pinterest boards with picture after picture of simple, gorgeous crochet bags.  Then the final straw came when I saw a friend carrying this J crew bag.  In a yarn store, no less. It was just meant to be. 

I went home and started crocheting.  6 rolls of raffia yarn and a super tender wrist later... 

With this simple handcrafted bag - a personal milestone has been crossed.  I am pleased as punch that my crochet skills have managed to catch up with my imagination.  The bag may need to be lined..  but that's another challenge for another day.  For now, it's time to sit back and dream about my next bag.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine heart clips

To be honest, I used to find hearts, well.. cheesy.  Anything heart-shaped just seemed tacky and too saccharine sweet.  I'm more of a polka dots and stars person.

At least that's what I thought.  Until I came across this link (  I was skeptical but Valentine's Day was coming up and I am always a sucker for a good crochet chart.  If the pattern was written out, I would not have given it a second glance.

As I tested out the pattern, I realised that I had the perfect yarn (or thread, rather) in my stash.  In multiple colours, no less.  Just LOVE it when that magical moment happens.  I poured out all the little balls of size 40 tatting cotton that I had bought many years ago, and started combining different colors together.  And voila.. the cutest little hearts.  Seriously cute.  My minimalist heart began to melt and the little girl inside started to squeal at the adorable colors and try on the clips.  

So yes, I'm still more of a polka dots and stars girl, but on Valentine's Day, I think hearts are ok.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The colors of new year

Chinese New Year.. A time that I traditionally hated for all it's fussiness and unclear customs.  But it is the time of my favourite colors - bright reds, magentas, fuschias.. Just looking at the colors cheer me up.  And cosmetic companies are finally catching on and producing mini bottles, so there is no guilt whatsoever in buying a few at one go. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This is my life, this is my bag

Despite a wardrobe full of fancy smelling leather bags, this is my current favourite. I call it the Daiso bag. It was constructed of materials bought in Daiso -

Gray brushed cotton fabric $2
Multicolor checked cotton lining $2
Navy cotton webbing $2
Neon yellow bias tape $2
(The polka dot fabric is from stash. Fine.. So it's the 99.9% Daiso Bag)

I love it to bits. It looks nondescript and functional on the outside, but when I dig for my stuff, the clash of colors and prints are exactly me. Plus, have you felt the brushed cotton? It's like carrying your favourite blanket around with you. 

Nobody's actually asked if I made it, which either means 1) It looks professional and store bought, or 2) It's so ugly that no one has dared mention it. 

I still love it. 

Missing me

Hello me - I've missed you so.  

As I rush madly through life and at times seem to do nothing except eat, bathe and sleep, I've come to realise that I've really missed hearing my own thoughts. 

Admittedly Facebook is very good for self esteem and posting cute pictures of my family, but it's become too much of a 'boast box'. Whatever crafting related thoughts that I post brings about so much positive support (and I do appreciate it, my dear FB friends), but sometimes, I just wanna talk about irrelevant things without being judged. Like... How obsessed I am with sewing tote bags right now.

More about that in the next post!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The simplicity of granny squares

My very first memory of crochet is of a little girl in school uniform sitting on the bus from school, and furiously stabbing away with a thin metal hook & cotton thread, oblivious to the stares from strangers on the bus.

I was about 12 then.  We had just learnt how to crochet in Home Economics.  Till today, my friends tease me that while everyone was struggling to crochet little chains, I had already gone on to crochet a pineapple lace tablecloth.  That memory makes me smile.  I did finish that tablecloth, and gave it to my grandmother.

Since then, I have crocheted many many things - Barbie doll clothes, coasters, more coasters, clothes, bags, even a bikini.  But the simplicity of the granny squares never fails to inspire me.  It is the most simple form of crochet, with no need to plan or count rows.  Just dip my hand into the yarn containers, pull out whatever strikes my fancy, and off I go.

In the spirit of stashbusting, I've dug out my softest cottons (and about 10 years old in my stash), and have been crocheting granny washcloths all week.  It's amazing what a little washcloth can do for your skin - my face already feels cleaner and smoother after a few uses.

Friday, December 2, 2011

My not-so baby

Sometimes, I forget that my little girl has only been on this earth for 3 years. She has changed my life so much, redefined our family so much, that I can't even remember my life without her. Sometimes, in my eagerness to see her grow, I push her too hard. I see other parents sending their kids for enrichment classes and worry that I didn't give her a chance to reach her potential. I see her hiding under her bed & giggling to herself and wonder if she's wasting her time while others are learning how to paint / dance / learn Mandarin.

But when she's asleep like this, I remember how young she really is. I marvel at the innocence of those round (ok not as round as I'd like) cheeks, those tiny rosebud lips, and I remind myself not to be too hard on her. She's only 3 - let her sleep, let her wander around the house in her pajamas, let her play....

I love you, little baby of mine.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I think I am back

Ok. After a brief flirtation with tumblr, I've realized that I blog for user comments (yes, shameless I know), which tumblr doesn't support. Plus it's weird that people keep reblogging stuff - maybe I'm not quite cool enough to understand that yet - but I do like to know the source of people's posts, and tumblr is very good at hiding it.

So I've found Blogger's iPhone app (it's about time, Google!) and am ridiculously excited about it.

In the meantime, I've rediscovered my love for crochet, and have been making lots of instant gratification presents.

Crochet Gift Baskets (pattern from here)

Crochet Sun Hats (made 5), modified pattern from here

Granny Square Cushion (back)

Granny Square Cushion (front)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Changing to Tumblr

Dear friends,

I'm switching over to try Tumblr for a little bit. Blogging seems to require too much commitment, and I like that it's so easy to post to Tumblr from my iPhone. I figure that a little bit of writing (on Tumblr) each day beats no writing (on Blogger) for months at a time. See you over at !

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's difficult to be a knitter in Singapore. The weather is hot & humid, and most of the time, I have a sheen of perspiration on my face and neck. Everyone who sees me knitting will ask 'isn't it hot?'. Hence, I have learnt that when knitting for myself, thin little cardigans and shawls to protect my arms from the freezing air-conditioning are ideal.

Having said that, I think I have found the perfect pattern. Something that is pretty & fast & that I will get a lot of wear out of. Liesl cardigan. Knitted in worsted weight Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran, it ought to be really warm, but because of the feather and fan pattern, is surprisingly wearable. Best of all, it took me about 5 days to knit & finish & block it (twice). I am already planning to cast on another. It's fun to be knitting for myself again.