Friday, March 25, 2011

ABC Waters @ Alexandra Canal, ArtScience Museum and Of Course, More Craft Works!

In conjunction with the World Water Day, the Tanjong Pagar GRC held a Family Day Carnival by the Water-cum-Opening of ABC Waters @ Alexandra Canal last Saturday. It was pouring pretty heavily just an hour before the start of the event, but the weather couldn't be better after that - a cool fine evening just great for taking a stroll by the nicely done-up canal. BTW, ABC stands for Active, Beautiful and Clean!
We were even greeted by an Indian with a handsome snake to pose for photos! With free flow of snacks like popcorn, candy floss and malt candy on stick and even burgers good enough for dinner, the good number of crafting activities kept children and even adults and old folks occupied.
MM Lee Kuan Yew accompanied by the other MPs of the GRC.

Then on Sunday, I brought the whole family to the newly opened ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. Even at 20% discount for the tickets, it was a whopping $97 for a mixture of 5 tickets, but well-worth the price walking through the four opening exhibitions -
(1) ArtScience: A Journey Through Creativity,
(2) Genghis Khan: The Exhibition,
(3) Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds, and
(4) Travelling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World.
Personally, I enjoyed walking through the Genghis Khan exhibition most. A good flow of easy info displayed at every turn intertwined with the display of more than 200 authentic artifacts and weaponry from the conqueror’s reign, you are guaranteed to walk out knowing a well-rounded story of one of the world’s greatest leaders - his background and family, the wars and warfare, weapons and tactics, the influence of the Mongol empire on culture, law and finance.

The dim lights in the Shipwrecked exhibition added to the "at the bottom of the sea" feeling when we walked through the some 60,000 objects carried by a ninth-century Arab dhow. Lying undisturbed on the ocean floor for more than 1,100 years until its discovery near Indonesia's Belitung Island in 1998, the collection has been kept intact as one entire collection to reflect accurately the assortment and magnitude of the find which is the single largest consignment of Tang Dynasty export goods ever discovered - thousands of glazed bowls, ewers and other exquisite ceramics. The highlights have to be the several gold and silver items with such fine intricate details.
The journey through the Silk Road immersed visitors in the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling marketplaces in Asia and the Middle East - yes, you could smell the spices and hear the stimulated sound of the marketplaces at Xi'An, Turfan, Samarkand and Baghdad which were part of one of the greatest trading routes known to Man. The Silk Routes were crucial paths for cultural, commercial and technological exchange between traders, merchants, soldiers and nomads from Ancient China, India, Tibet, Persia and Mediterranean countries a millennium ago.

Back to crafts. This month, I managed to complete my artdoll and ATC dolls very early, as inspiration came just so suddenly. I mixed and matched, cut and joined, modified cut-out from my QuicKutz dies to assemble this "By The Seaside" doll - see the waves and sequin seashells. Added a nice piece of fabric for a wrap around the movable hands, she sure would make heads turn!
I was also just as pleased with my ladybirds/ladybugs ATC dolls.
I used paper napkins I bought with this theme in mind, placed on painted watercolour paper to stiffen it up and add more interesting dash of colours. Can you smell Spring in the air? Little Ladybird boys and girls look like they could almost fly (or perhaps they really do fly)!

These following 3 fabric ATCs came in the mail this week. The lady on the beautiful blue background and all the fancy trims and ribbons was done by Lisa Maria (USA). See all those holes on the background - it is what is left over from when they make sequins. There is a big name to it - Punchinella. I learned something new :) And Google is acting up again, I just can't load the photo in the correct orientation
The other fabric ATC is Sharon Scothern (UK)'s Z is for Zip.

This green piece is done by Debbie Baker (Australia). She used a bright green stretchy sequin fabric (mostly used for dance costumes) which she toned down by painting it with a few coppery and olive shades of Lumiere paint, and layered with a felt backing. The embellishments are beads on metallic wires and squares of copper sheet that she heated, cut, embossed and distressed with black paint.

Thank you, ladies!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Lion King

I mentioned in my last post about the OWOH giveaways I won. This is the 2nd one - a set of floral stamps, complete with a piece of acrylic block handle and a stamp pad, from Gail's Card Cafe. Thanks, Gail!

This artdoll is overdue, but nevertheless, she's completed and on her way to Amelia Ruscoe (New Zealand). The theme was Goddess, but I wanted to create one closer to heart, so I found a Goddess of Mercy picture and drew on parchment paper to create these dolls. The colours of the variegated paper and the embossing done on the paper created a lovely surreal effect. Had to add a touch of my tatted flowers ;)

I was unsure if I should jump in on this Metallic swap, but I couldn't stop myself. I created, in a way, a personalized fabric ATC for everyone but all based on the same concept - embossed metal foil coloured with black Indian ink, with a hint of Spring in the background colours and the rolled fabric rose. The surface was touched up lightly with metallic crayons and the border finished off with a metallic thread.
Pauline Mackenzie (Australia) was the first to send out for the swap, but she mistakingly made a postcard instead of an ATC. Of course we won't mind the mistake, and it's certainly a well-composed one - the embellishment was done with model magic then painted, and rubbed and buffed to give the metallic look.

The 2nd piece of metallic ATC came from Kim Young (USA), she textured the metal foil and sewed over them onto handmade silk paper. Love the bright, yet at the same time, warm colours!

The last 2 ATCs came from Germany by Ann Seidel - I is for Inchies and a Valentine Heart (for the F card I sent her mistakingly). Ann's I card with all the inchies came just when I'm going to do an inchies swap, I couldn't stop smiling at the coincidence :)

S$10 million musical, The Lion King, is the inaugural theatrical event at the new Sands Theatre, which can seat 1,627 people. Stunning costumes - the giraffes and zebras are my favourites. Of course the mask of Scar and Mufasa and how they hang over like real lions (photo above) are simply fantastic. Kristine, who went to the musical with me on Friday night, felt that the all the animals look so real like. Indeed!

We didn't manage to explore the whole Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands on Friday, we went a second time today and also to the ArtScience Museum. More in the next post!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Leaving The Garden - A Custom

Survived another week without a maid, but hope a new one will be coming real soon, sigh. I was too busy to participate in this year OWOH giveaway. I did manage to visit some of the blogs though, and was lucky enough to win 2 giveaways. 1 is this black and silver stone bracelet from Anna McCurdy in Western Canada. Anna arranged the stones in such that the length will fit me and it's just perfect. I'm not a fashion guru, but I do think it's chic. Thanks, Anna!

My J cards revealed .... they are ... jellyfish! I'm not sure if they look like the real thing, but I'm happy with the tatted design and the whole card in general. Hope my recipients think likewise.

The theme for this month ATC session in Bishan Library was "March". Let's see - we have March starting on the same day of the week as November every year and February in common years only. International Women's Day is marked on the 8th of March every year. Pi Day is observed on March 14 because of the date's representation as 3/14 in month/day date format. This representation adheres to the commonly used approximation of 3.14 for π. World Water Day is observed on March 22 since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22 as World Day for Water, and the theme for 2011 is "Water for Cities". After doing so much homework, I decided just a simple "March Marching In", and well, they do really march by pulling the 2 plastic strips.

We also learned to draw the Ed Emberley way using his books available in the library. Some are quite simple, but some are pretty complex pictures, he is able to show step by step drawing with just simple shapes and lines which will lead to the all sorts of pictures. You can see for yourself what we managed in the half hour!

I drew this scarecrow with highlighters following one of the books. Not bad for someone who don't draw :) The green hexagons piece was traded with Vicki, who painstakingly cut and pieced every piece by hand, while the ducks were drawn by Lyn.

Here's an attempt to translate the above Chinese text. "Leaving The Garden" is a traditional custom unique to the Teochew (which is one of the Chinese dialect groups). When a child reaches 15 years old according to the Chinese calender, the child goes through the garden ceremony to indicate that the child is already grown up and may go out the garden, and is no longer the noisy child who would play all day long in the garden.

Well, my boy just went through this today. I guess my mother-in-law has simplified a lot of things already. We went to the temple in the early morning to pray. As the child cannot meet any strangers (and so not go out of the house) throughout the whole day of the ceremony, we brought his new pyjamas, briefs and shoes to the temple instead. Back home, he then bathed with the flowers offerings and wear the new clothings. After that, offered tea to parents, and everyone sat down for lunch, eating a bit of every item of the temple offerings. This is the first time I know and went through such a ceremony (cos' I'm a Cantonese and we don't have such a custom).

Monday, March 7, 2011

Have You Watched Emily?

Another week passed without a maid :( Only consoling thing is that I have lost a little bit of the weight I gained which stubbornly would not go down!

I finished "V" finally! V is for victory, but alas, I'm resolved on tatting animals, so it's V is for Vampire Bat. I came up with a little black critter with bloody red eyes, but I think it looks more cute than scary.
Another set of animal done - I is for Ibis. Since they look like flamingo, I modified Martha Ess' flamingo design to come up with this. I'm designing and working on J now, and is pretty pleased with the J********, can you guess!?! Stay tune!

Here's my set of complete H - my tatted hedgehog, hats from Mari (South Aftica) and Norma (USA), and a house that Sherry Dreier (USA) just built with needle-punching.

V is for Veggie and W is for Weaving received from Lyn Strauch (USA) and Y is for Yarn from Sharon Scothern (UK).

Sharon explained that she laid organza over the background fabric and sewed the channels to make the Y. Frizzy yarn were then inserted into each channel. Ingenious way to make up the Y!

Last night, my boy and I were at the Esplanade to catch Ivan Heng in his role of Emily of Emerald Hill, a finale to W!LD RICE’s 10th Anniversary season of smash hits. A one-woman play, Emily is a Chinese Peranakan, who by dint of her native wit and cunning, emerges as the matriarch of a large and distinguished household, but only at the expense of her son’s suicide and her estrangement from her husband. The end of the play sees her alone in a much reduced mansion. She is old, and wistful, and the remnants of her family have moved to the suburbs while she is surrounded by the urgent hammering and pounding of an expanding inner-city construction.

Since 1999 when Ivan Heng became the first male actor to play Emily, he has performed a total of 98 performances as Emily to date. “A moving, funny and accomplished piece of theatre.” – The Age, Australia - this summed up nicely my sentiments too.