Thursday, July 31, 2014

Making My Own Audio Story CDs

When C was about 3 months ago, due to our very limited book collection, I would go to the local library and check out kids story books and read to her whenever possible.  My mom, who came to visit at the time, thought I was crazy....I was more reading to myself than to her really.
4 years later, books have become a very important part of C's life. Although she still doesn't own a book shelf, she has books coming out of her tee shirt. We have to put 2 boxes in the garage and rotate them.

Two weeks ago, I made 3 music CDs for her. They are a big hit. Most of them are soundtracks from her favorite movies. You guessed it. Frozen is one of them. Another popular one is Katy Perry's Firework, adopted by Madagascar 3. For one week, both of us couldn't stop singing the song. It's too catchy. Now we're moving on to Everything's Awesome from The Lego Movie. "Everything's awesome~~~~~When we're living our dream"

I have this idea... Why don't I start recording stories and burn them onto CDs? It doesn't have to be a big commitment. One story per day and I get 7 stories for the week. Perfect for car trips. I'm going back to the library and hope it will be more of an on-going project than my gym plans.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taco Tuesday Day 2

Last night 10:30 I decided to brown the pork. The reason? Well it takes 8 hours to cook in a slow cooker and I just don't have time in the morning to prepare the meat. My mornings are always blur and spent in a rush....

Found this beautiful Taco recipe from this blog How Sweet It Is. By the way, she has so many other recipes I am dying to try out in the future.

Pork cooked beer. I remember my mom used to cook meat in beer. This is my first attempt and it's a success!

I didn't have cilantro and used red cabbage instead. Oh, and didn't find lime in the supermarket yesterday either, so I used lemon instead. A very proud lemon tree.

The taste of the Taco?
It totally rocks my mind, and questions my then young teenage immature taste buds.
Taco Tuesday is a keeper!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Taco Tuesday

Have you watched The Lego Movie? I've watched with madam enough times that it's burning a hole in my head already. Well to be honest, most of the time I'm absent-minded and looking at things on Pinterest while watching; other times I'm simply ordered to put iPad down and focus on TV.  I'm still not clear of the full story, but I can tell you I hear "Taco Tuesday" as many times as I've watched it. It's like a calling for me to bring Taco onto our family dinner menu.

Now, I know aero about Mexican food. The one and only memory was gained from a Mexican restaurant 15 years ago. My cousin and I went to this restaurant in a posh area in Shanghai. It must've been a celebration of some sort. I can't really recall. What I do remember is we left two-thirds of the food behind. My then very Asian-cuisine-oriented pallette didn't agree with the food. The understanding must've been mutual because I never came across another Mexican restaurant, nor has Mexican food been served where I've been.

This "Taco Tuesday" slogan from the movie has ignited my curiosity towards Mexican food. Obviously it's packed with veg and protein and starch ---- everything you need in one. Since we have Bolognese Monday, Fish Wednesday and Dumpling Friday already,  I'm welcoming Taco Tuesday with open arms.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekend News

As C went to school this morning with a piece of her weekend news, I decided to share my version of it. One thing is certain, both of our highlights of the weekend were Disney On Ice show.

This show comes to Cape Town once a year and this is the closest we can get to see Disney live on the African continent. We had booked the tickets before the winter holiday even started and it was some patient and long wait for C, and me.

Disney never disappoints. 100 Years of Magic covers so many characters. We had a great time. C's words were "It's just fabulous!" I sneakily got her this horse at the stand and gave to her when we got home. She couldn't believe it and shouted out "" ---- Rapunzel's words? I am wondering if Frozen will be joining the party when they come back next year...

So since her horse fever is not dying down, I trust the horses and memory of the show should occupy her for a week.

Friday, July 25, 2014

One-Shoulder Dress

One-shoulder dress, or shall I call it "gather-extreme" dress?
Chiara delivered her request to me during the school holiday that she wanted a one-shouder dress. I'm not sure whether she's seen anybody wearing one, or on TV.... Could it be that she just envisioned it in her own head?

I found a knit pattern somewhere but it wasn't striking enough for me. The search carried on till I landed on Violette Field Threads' website. They have some pretty dresses every little girl would dream of.  This pattern is called Bridgette. Do scroll up and down, you will most certainly find your dreamy dress there.

Let me move onto the pattern and sewing process.
The bodice part is quite easy. What puzzled me was the skirt part. I shouldn't've said puzzle. The instructions are very clear. I just couldn't believe the skirt pattern calls for 6 pieces of 2-yard-long fabric! I ended up with 3 super fat tubes that fit into each other. The gathering of 3 layers of 4-yard-long fabric was to the extreme. The hemming also seemed to take forever~~

But you know what? When I saw the outcome, it's all totally worth it.
It was my first encounter with zip as well, which is not quite challenging as I thought it might be. Maybe because I had been preparing for it for so long...

Here is madam, ready to take a spin. Oh by the way, the twirlability is great.
I haven't added the sash yet as shown in the original pattern image. Somehow I think the sash is there to cover the little faults produced during the gathering procedure, and the end of the zip. I might still make the sash, but detachable is the way to go.

We are both equally super happy with the dress. C will start wearing school uniform next year. I get a feeling that this dress will get more rotation than any other casual clothes.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Page C

Months ago I asked C what she wanted to be when she grows up. Her answer was "I want to be you". There are a lot of possible meanings to it. I didn't go deep for a precise explanation. However, that answer is probably the motivation for me to start this blog.

I am going to post irregularly some of the little interesting things she's said that make me laugh, or think, or simply speechless....

Two days ago, I dropped a big pot lid, and it had to land vertically on my toe. The sharp edge didn't go soft on the toe and now it looks pretty bad.

C: Mom, are you going to die?
Me: Why?
C: Because of your toe.
Me: It will get better and I'm not going to die just because I hurt my toe.
C: I wish you could live forever and ever~~~
Me: That's so sweet. I hope you can live a long, happy and healthy life as well.
C:  Oh I will never die. I'm only a child.
Me: ............

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Way I Organize My Patterns

It's simple logic. As you sew more and more, your pattern collection grows with it. Google guided me to a few sites showing me different ways to store the patterns. Truth to be told, I'm not a big fan of folding my pattern pieces over and over and stuck them into a sleeve.

Before today, I had patterns pieces lying on top of the printer, and under the cushions of a sleeper couch.  I mentioned before that chucking things away is one of M's hobbies. With a husband like mine, I have to act fast.

Paper clips and a reel of thin red ribbon have sorted out my problem.  I added a little note so I don't have to go through the pieces when I need them again.....I think I must draw a picture as well after this post.

I might need to get another hanger for future patterns. This one's quite loaded, wouldn't you say?

It doesn't take much space in the cupboard at the moment but I'd really like to see it grow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Infinity Scarf x 4

When I took C with me for my hair appointment during the holiday, the hair dresser immediately noticed the infinity scarf C was wearing. And of course I excitedly offered to make her two for her daughters.

Her daughter are older than C, so I actually tried on the scarf to see how much length I might have to add. Surprisingly it even wraps around my neck quite well. One of these days, I'm going to borrow one from her. Since I'm a good 20 odd years older than Mijey's daughters, I'm very convinced that I won't need to add any length.

So the original idea was to make two for Mijey's girls. As I was starting to cut the fabric, I couldn't help myself but to cut an extra two, and use up the fabric --- It's a sickness that I can't keep left-over fabric.  C might want to have the same scarf, and the last one can easily be a little giveaway for her friend.

I'm in love with this knit fabric from Studio 47. Very few fabric shops in South Africa have website, let alone online shopping. The link only provides some basic info. I bought 2 meters a month ago with other plans for them, a circle skirt, some tees for C, a knit dress .... ??
But now look at them, they are so happy to have become scarves for 4 little girls. They are smiling.


My family were never into cameras and to my parents, that's a costly and unnecessary hobby and thus not encouraged. They used to take me to studios that have set-up scenes to take photos. And for even more important occasions like birthdays etc, they would borrow a camera from a friend.

We decided to get a camera when I was around eleven. In the old days, you had to buy Kodak film. If I remember correctly, there're 36 shots out of it, of course without preview function. We never really used it so much due to the costs.
The digital age hit us when I was in university and I bought myself a Sony Cybershot 3.2mega pixel camera. That meant I could preview the photos and never had to develop the photos I was not happy with, or not develop at all. It was great to finally own a camera that I could use freely and not worry about the potential cost so much.

Before C was born, my mom decided to buy us a Sony Cybershot 12.1 mega pixel camera, as an upgrade from my 3.2MP version. That camera is still going strong. All the photos before today were produced by that machine. If I hadn't decided to start blogging, I would've probably needed an upgrade much later?
Photos are a lovely way to document life. Moments captured provided us with beautiful memories later on. This little space has propelled me into photo taking. I've taken more photos in the previous 3 months than I did the whole of last year. It's made me feel kind of grown-up. (?!) A grown-up girl needs a big-girl camera. Am I right?

The girl in the picture is not the "big girl" I mentioned above, although she thoroughly enjoys the new gadget we recived today. We both do. It's an entry-level camera, just like my entry-level sewing machine. For now, they are both working hard to fill our life with joys, and are perfect for us.

Monday, July 21, 2014

School Holiday Recap

The 3-week long winter school holiday has come to an end. The time went by faster than a blink of an eye.  Holiday time usually means I am in for a full-time entertaining job. This time was no difference, but we thoroughly enjoyed it, both of us! There were lots of holiday activities that we participated. On some gloomy days, we would spend the whole day at home looking through books, playing puzzles, drawing, improvising on the piano, dress-ups with her wearing my clothes and shoes.... Oh have I mentioned the latest engagement in Lego playing?

We spent one day building up this beach house and taking it apart, and buliding it up again 3 times.

As far as sewing is concerned, I managed to squeeze a little time and fulfilled a portion of my holiday sewing list.

Having said all this, I'm still glad that the school term has commenced. I've got a 3-page to-do list that I've planed into the first week of August already. Au revoir holiday and let the sewing projects roll.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bubble Dress Take Two

Three weeks ago when the winter school holiday just started I sewed up a bubble dress for C to get some holiday spirit in her.  She loved the dress and have worn it a few times already during the holiday.

I had the last bit of leftover thick muslin polka dot fabric which I enjoyed so much making two things already out of (here and here). The first time I laid eyes on the style I wanted to use a similar fabric.

I was so happy with how it turned out. The fabric has been a joy to sew with. I even moved the couch away from the wall, so now I get a big piece of white wall for the photoshoot, instead of always having a doorknob or cat scratching board as some bonus feature. The couch was a lot lighter than I thought it would be. I'm kicking myself for not having done it earlier.
Bubble dresses are fun to wear and here is madam bouncing about in her merry spirit.
Of course we had to schedule some cookie and milk break for the shoot.
Until she decided to haul out her bicycle and use it as a prop.

M got this bike for her maybe 1 year ago from an antique shop. It reminded him of the bike he had when he was a small kid so he had to get it. This bike weighs a ton with solid tires that never require pumping. To be honest,  I don't see C learning to balance on that thing in the near future.
And another break studying her pretend cards and deciding which one to use to swipe for her "supermarket" ride.

I spent two nights sewing up the dress. After I finished up the skirt part on the first night, I totally fell in love with that bubble skirt. Even C said to me the next morning that she only wanted a bubble skirt now. I could stop right there and just add a waistband, or carry on making the bodice part. I went with the dress option. The thing is with a simple t-shirt over the bodice part, it becomes a super fun and bubbly skirt automatically. Now there're two ways to wear it.

Sewing makes me happy. Happy Friday everyone.

Monday, July 14, 2014

An A-line Dress

It seems Chiara's more determined than me to make all the styles in Girls Style Book. She now requests which style she wants. The fabric shopping and pattern browsing have ignited her enthusium towards wearing clothes made by me and my sewing addiction is very well satisfied. Win-win.

She's chosen a very simple style this time. It's like wearing a big pillowcase? Since the off-cut fabric I got from SA Interlining was a non-negotiable 2.3 meters, I still have plenty left-over even after this dress.

I used up the bias tape from the last project. And I've found so many styles in the book call for bias tapes, so it sped up the sewing process even more.
The dress is pyjamas like in the picture above. The sizes from the book jump from 100cm to 110cm. Chiara's height is currently in between so of course I had to opt for the bigger size. As a result, I'm churning out a summer wardrobe (for when summer hits here in December).