Friday, September 27, 2013

How's this for a title - "Agatha Christie Travelling as Hercule Poirot to NYPS Mooncake Festival to Knit and Crochet Wonders of Nature?"

The title links all I'm going to talk about in this post!  Sure remind me of linking memory exercises :)

Ok, here we go.  Remember the famous detective swap?  I did Dectective Conan for Cindy, and my own paper doll from Phyllis Boggs (USA) finally came - Agatha Christie as her famous detective Hercule Poirot. It really is just 1 doll; the suit, hat and moustache are layers added on top of Christie. Funny that I have never read any of Christie's novels although I like detective stories. Ok, I just downloaded and is now reading her first novel "The Mysterious Affair at Styles", and enjoying it.

The Map Mania ATC Swap, hosted by Roselyn Pratt (USA) of the Paper-Traders group, came fast in the mail.  Paris seems a favourite place for most people!  Going clockwise from top left corner - Paris street directory & femme in watercolour by Pam Prosser, "Road trip" by Mel Dunkley, "Travel Broadens The Mind" by Jo Murray and "Bonjour!" by Beckie Holso.

Roselyn also enclosed a vintage-looking handmade card.  I must really look into starting a file binder for all the greeting and often handmade cards that came with swaps.  I never dispose any, but they are scattered everywhere now!  But before I forget, thank you, gals, for your fantastic works and Roselyn for hosting!

Mooncake Festival fell on 19 Sep this year.  Mooncakes is one of my favourite festive food, but we seem to have a piece too many this year.  Ok, this is not the point.  Accompanied my girl to her school celebration.  While she was busy demonstrating Chinese calligraphy and writing couplets for the crowd, I was painting away on Project Batik 360 meant for presentation in the grand opening of Chingay 2014.  Great idea/activity to kill 2 birds with 1 stone!

I believe knitting and crochet are pretty common in a lot of places/countries, and I think it would start a verbal war debating which is easier – knitting or crochet?  Perhaps more may say knitting, but personally, I feel that crochet is easier.  After all, there is only 1 loop to work with in crochet, but every 1 stitch in the whole width is 1 loop on the needle in knitting. Lose concentration for a second, I will drop 1 stitch and hopelessly make a bigger hole when I try rectifying it!  I must admit I’m not expert in both, though I did attempt to learn both when I was still a child.  Never master knitting well enough to do even a small project on my own without someone guiding and helping me with my mistakes, though I manage to crochet bookmarks, teddy bears and small projects.  But nothing beats tatting for me!

Why the sudden talk on knitting and crochet?  Cos’ I brought my girl with me to Betsy’s knitting and crochet workshops in the Bishan Library last Sunday.  Kristine has not done either before. Her verdict: Her eyes were going to burst after the 1 hr and 2 hr workshops respectively in 1 afternoon!  No knitting or crochet project anytime soon for her.  But she was sure thrilled to complete the crocheted owl, although we only crocheted the last few rows and not from scratch.

That evening, I captured these lovely colours of the sky on my handphone from my bedroom window.  Talking about wonders of nature!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

ATC @ Bishan Library Sep 2013

The theme for Sep ATC session was "Colour Wheel".  I did it literally, making colour wheels, but with little ghosts for the spooky colour wheel, extraterrestrial beings for the alien colour wheel, and flowers for the garden one. Now, I have a simple colour wheel in my pocket!
During the session, we created ATCs with pressed leaves, flowers and seeds, courtesy of Sor Huan.  Thank you, Sor Huan!

Here are our creations in the hour!  The first 2 on the left in the top row are mine, while the right-most on the 2nd row is done by Kristine.

I traded my colour wheel ATCs with Richard's butterfly, Melissa's yellow bird and Geok Lan's pop-up fence.

The Oct session will be on 10 Oct (Thu), 6.30 pm.  Theme: Word Collage.  Here are some samples from the swap I have done and new ATCs I did.   Postcard on the bottom right came from Bev Langill (Canada).  Her first piece never made it here, thanks, Bev, for making the replacement!

I spent 1 weekend cycling.  Cycling has never been more fun now, with all the parks and park connectors developed throughout Singapore. 1 of the longest routes is the Eastern Coastal Park Connector Network (PCN), with a total of 38 km.  Joey and I attempted the route on a cloudy and windy afternoon.  We cycled for 4 hours, with a break for an ice-cream and another one at the end, some occasional photo shots, and wrapped up the last half hour cycling in Pasir Ris Park itself along the coast.  I didn't measure the distance we covered, but it should be more than 25 km. 

Although I have had cycled enough, I had to go for another round the next day, this time with Kristine!  She just learnt not long ago, but fell and hurt her elbow. This time, she managed much better with more confidence.  We are sure looking forward to more cycling trips!  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dress Form and Bookmark Swaps and Teachers' Day Presents

Another one "busy" weekend attending workshops in libraries - Watercolour Painting, Chinese Knotting and Finger Painting!


Met an ex-colleague too!

It has been some months I have not done any paper doll.  The ATC-ArtDoll group went inactive, but it's back now with Cindy Whiddon (USA) hosting Aug swaps.  I painted Detective Conan for the Famous Detective swap, and decorated my first ever altered dress form.  I folded the origami roses again, but much smaller this time. The whole dress form is about 6 inches tall. Both went to Cindy.

My altered dress form from Jan Gray (USA) came in a pair!  Thank you, Jan!

I just managed to finish 1 set for my own album.

Oh yes, remember the Stitchmap's Summer Bookmark swap?  I received 2 cross-stitched and one hand-embroidered bookmarkers.  Aren't they a treasure!?!  The bird house from Hollie Poley, the pansies from Kriss Svidro and the feather-stitched from Lyn Gaskill.

Finally, Teachers' Day presents! This time round, the children did them mostly on their own - flowers and cards done by the girls and the scones baked by Ivan. I bought them the materials and ingredients, and helped out here and there on the last night.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My First Paper Postcard Swap. Lots of Origami.

I joined a postcard swap - collage word.  First time I did postcards (6" x 4") with paper medium. I cut the word "BLOSSOMING" from a Korean magezine and mounted the alphabets into a bloom.  The watercoloured background had the words "flower . bud . bloom . blossom" translated into 29 languages. 

All the participants came up with the unique concepts and interesting pieces - some with great quotes, some with pretty wordscapes.  I received from Cathy Calamas (USA) - "Finding My Wow".  The 2nd piece from Bev Baird hasn't arrive and may have gone astray :(

Joined another 2 ATC swaps at Paper Traders.  1 is "Map Mania".  Of the 4 I sent, the taxi in "Discover S'pore" can move up and down by pulling the string, The blocks of flats and and people can "pop up" in the bottom right card, while the girl will wobble in the other 2 cards.  
As usual, I'm keeping a set of cards for myself.

The other swap is "Wings and Things".  I wanted to use my new die-cuts (the little boy and little girl), so I ended up with butterflies fairy boys and girls!  I spent a whole day rolling them out, assembling and gluing them - real tedious.  Then I found these flat origami roses which I adore and folded 18 of them straight. 

Tatted another 18 tiny butterflies for a little surprise at the back of the ATCs.

Incidentally, Joey also spent a whole night folding these origami animals as a response to a article for a school project. 

Guess I'll just post the photos of my humble collection of thimbles. When someone from a group was talking about collecting thimbles recently, I found mine sitting nicely in a glass container in a forgotten corner.  I do have more thimbles than these - plastic ones, leather ones, metal ones - meant for working purpose, whereas these 6 are purely just for collection.  Don't ask me where I bought them as they are more than 10 years old, probably closer to 20 years. Oh yes, the windmill does move!