Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Wonderful Lot of Leaves!

Earlier in June, there were some news reports in which parents complained that the mid-year school holidays were not holidays at all, but filled with extra lessons, lots of assignments and homework, so much so that planned trips had to be cancelled or they had to bring the laptop along to work on the assignments. It's true, I will testify, especially for students in top schools here in Singapore.

My Secondary-1 boy, in his school's school-based gifted plus education programme, didn't even want to follow his sisters to the movies, but rushed home to his school work immediately after a meal out. This being the situation during school holidays, it is even worst during school terms. Waking up at about 6 am to prepare to go to school, staying till late afternoon in school, and working all the way till 11 plus at night, Mon to Fri. Even on Sat and Sun when the family watches movies on TV, he will stay in the room to work.

But alright, he is highly motivated and does all the optional independent studies and researches, attempts all the extra bonus questions in his tests, and participates in competitions and events encouraged by the school. Teachers are all full of praises of him, and his test grades show marked improvements across. Just that we are worried that he may be stressed out, though I don't make them go for tuition or do any assessment books other than their school homework. Parents out there, any other tips or advice ?

Enough said about the school system. Well, my boy would hand-make the Teachers' Day gifts himself in the past years, together with the girls. To lighten his load, I helped to prepare his gifts this year - tatted bookmarks, and I just finished them in the wee hours in the morning just in time for him to bring to school (I even had to use the hair dryer to speed up the blocking process!)

No doubt ATCs are small in size and quick to finish up, but for someone like me who don't know how to use the sewing machine and have to hand-stitch all my fabric pieces, doing 10 in 1 go is a bit overwhelming. Still feeling sheepish for signing up for something without realising it, I thought it was 1 fabric piece, my jaw almost dropped when it was 11 pieces. Luckily, it was any medium as long as we spent time on composition, so I went back to card and paper. I tatted all the leaves in fall colours, rolled out the tree and leaves with my QuicKutz dies, and embossed more leaves on the coloured parchment papers. Finally, I stitched around the embossed leaves with metallic threads. Loved the colours and layering effects!

Hetty, another participant, showed all the leaf ATCs she done on her blog. Wonder which piece will be in my letterbox? Love surprises in the mail, don't you!

These are the surprises I received this week, from Amelia Ruscoe of New Zealand - artifical pansies, free-machined over, to stimulate orchids in the piece "Generic Orchid" and square pattern in bobbin lace, twisted to make a most interesting trellis for the ribbon roses in the piece on the right "Rose Trellis" and the bottom laminated paper piece"Cat". Thank you, Amelia, they are wonderful!

These are what I sent Amelia - "Pots of Love" with bullion knot roses and mother-of-pearl bottoms, "Growing Along The River Banks" - painted calico with hand-embroidery, and a paper ATC "Playing In The Garden" with a movable cat playing with a tatted ribbon butterfly.

I had an enjoyable day yesterday going out with my girl, Joey. We had a good Chinese lunch in Lao Beijing, caught the show "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore", did some shopping in Spotlight, and had a surprise in the scrapbooking shop, Made With Love - they had a walk-in hands-on session with Sizzix. We had to queue up for at least half an hour, but here's the cards we made (top is mine, bottom one is Joey's), all done in 15 mins! We ended the day with a tasty satay and aglio olio seafood dinner.


Fox said...

Your Sec has inherited your zeal and enthusiasm for challenge! He sounds like a wonderful boy.

The bookmarks are amazing and you are such a good mom!
Fox : )

BSOTF said...

You never stop to amaze me. I'm so glad to see that you too don't believe in wasting anything. Wow, your exchanges are lovely as well. Even in 15 minutes wonderful things can be done. All of it is breath taking!

God's Kid said...

Your tatted autumn is so beautiful it cures my desire to take an autumn color tour-nothing could be as awesome as yours. :D

Suztats said...

I love the leaf ATC's -- a splendid blend of different techniques all came together to create a thing of beauty. Lovely bookmarks, too!

Hetty said...

Hi Singtatter,
I just realised that comment you made was in my blog! How exciting!
Your tatting is just so wonderful and I cannot wait to get the leaf in my mailbox!
Have a great weekend

Sandy Ang said...

What intricate sewing on your projects ! cheers

singtatter said...

Thanks, Fox, my boy is very fast in thinking and pretty good in Maths, but very mischievous too!

Hi BSOTF, I have just commented on your blog too, hope this time round, it will go through fine. The last few times, I got delivery failure messages, and don't know what's the problem!

Thanks, Sue, we don't see such autumn colours here in Singapore actually, I had to see the colours from photos :)

Hi Suz, thanks! I racked my brain quite a bit to come out with the leaf ATCs, just hope the recipents love them.

Hello, Hetty, I couldn't wait to see yours too!

Thanks, Sandy, didn't realise you're the one in the ATC session! LOL!