Sunday, January 23, 2011

Life is sew perfect

My father has been in the textile business for half a century and he cannot understand why someone would prefer everything handmade, scarce quantity, and such hardwork. He has on several occasions offered to take me to visit factories which can mass produce.

Have you ever stitched or sewn? There is this special sound when a needle, pulling its colourful thread, gets through any kind of fabrics. That is very soothing. It gives my restless mind many moments of peace and tranquility. 

Sewing mends the soul. And I am sew in love with it. 

Besides, when I have someone else to do for me, that leaves me abundance of time, right? Then, does that mean tons of housework, endless chores all by myself???


I prefer to sew, stitch and lace everything myself. And the best part of it, is to raise my voice to announce to my husband and two darlings: HANG THE LAUNDRY, you people! Can't you tell I am busy???  

When I work with my hands, life is just sew perfect!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Bag Story

In the course of your life, so far, have you counted how many things have just simply gone missing all these years?

In some superstitious families, they believe your lost things are the mischief done by the house spirits.

I do not know if there is ever any spirit in my house. But one thing for sure, on and off my stuff goes MIA. 

Just when I was packing to return home from London, I discovered my complimentary red computer sleeve disappeared in thin air. My cousins, my sisters, my father, my auntie, my daughters all helped in searching for the missing red pouch. I emptied my luggages more than twice. The vibrant red silky bag was just not seen anywhere.

I did not really have any special sentiment towards the bag, but I felt lost because I did not have anything like that at home to give my favourite netbook a temporary home. 

I thus went to grab a really cheap padded sleeve for my peony netbook and I could tell instantly she loathed it.

That was when I started making this one of a kind computer sleeve. Fully lined with laced felting. I also gave it more than a few inner pockets for the knickknacks (i.e. rubbish) I just love carrying around.

When my husband saw how I laced the numerous pockets, sacrificing HBO time with him, he finally asked me WHY did I need that many pockets? I said, I just love bags...whether they are real handbags or just "little bags" inside the handbag! I ALWAYS, ALWAYS BAG FOR MORE!

Wasn't I happy when I finished hand-sewing and hand-stitching everything, occasionally poking my poor fingers again? I was ecstatic!!!! 

To celebrate the hardwork, I slipped in my red netbook, took out again, just to pretend that I was in a conference with some other prominent people who jealously eyed on this pouch that is not to be seen anywhere. 

I switched on my computer. No respond. Oh, battery out again. I plugged in the cable. Now the deadly blue screen!!

OK. Either it was too overjoyed that it fainted, or it was too overused that it died.

I could not quite accept the fact that I spent three days doing this for her, and she just didn't appreciate and turned me a blind eye!

Just when this computer was not working, the red pouch scarily crept out from between my wool sweaters in the luggage!

How bizarre can it be??!!


This is life. 

And life is always full of unexpectedness. 


Laced felting computer sleeve/iPad case/envelop clutch available on Etsy soon.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Wedding - The Grace Kelly Inspired Juliet Cap Headband

I think I can never have enough of vintage inspired items. I forgot how this "Juliet cap" keyword popped up and when I Googled it, the picture of the forever Grace Kelly, in her wedding dress, appeared again in the search results.

It was only then I knew the headpiece she had was called a "Juliet cap." And if you are also meeting this name the first time, Juliet is quite obviously referring to the Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, a hair accessory popular in the Renaissance days. It was described by  Every Woman's Encyclopaedia (London, 1910) as "somewhat expensive", because of the use of laces, pearls and other jewels. 

I lack the knowledge and knowhow to do a cap and therefore I just created something that looked like a Juliet cap, on a headband, for my wedding. This headpiece is a little heavier than usual and somehow I think resting on a headband actually gives people more security to wear instead of wondering frequently "when it will fall from my head."

And as the Every Woman's Encyclopaedia described, I also used a lot of pearls, Czech crystals and laces to create this accessory. Many tear-shaped crystals were used, to signify the "joyful tears" a bride is expected to shed. In case you are also wondering if I had shed some, I am not afraid to admit that I bawled...many times. :~) Ah, those happy tears... Also, two little blue crystals were sewn, for the traditional notion of "something blue".

I love knowing that there are crystals here and there in my house which I bought a decade ago and finally proved themselves "useful", like the black floral crystal ornament was actually a button I found in a haberdashery shop!

On the day of my wedding, I discussed with my hair stylist and we decided that this would not be used with my wedding dress since my wedding veil was already "something quite extraordinary". I for sure did not want the veil to steal the spotlight of my Juliet cap, nor vice versa. We saved this when I slipped into a platinum gold gown, now looking back, that dress was actually quite Renaissance inspired too.

This piece is definitely something of a luxury. I have, however, wanted it also to be very affordable.

I hope so much you are going to love it! :-)

Grace Kelly inspired Juliet cap is now available on Etsy

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Wedding - The Story of the Flower Basket

Even though I had a list of things to do and to buy for my own wedding, I guess like every other bride, I did miss out something really important.

The night before the wedding when I was to pack and stay at the hotel, I realised I had completely forgotten about the flower basket for my flower girl!

Looking around my apartment for some "instant" materials, I spotted my needle basket. I emptied everything inside into a zip-lock and searched through my lace drawer and pulled out laces that had been there for so long. I felt bad they had been neglected for that long. But I am so glad they resurfaced and became one of the witnesses to my wedding.

My twin sister, who wedded a few years before me, told me already that no one would actually remembered all the details of your wedding. Thus, in a way, some things could go unnoticed or even undone and it was absolutely not necessary to stress yourself out.

However, I still mananged to make the basket in a lightning speed of 15 minutes, stuffed it with the artificial rose petals and shoved away inside my luggage.

On the day of the wedding, the bridal team and the groomsmen were briefed about the procession, and when exactly my little flower girl would make me a rosey path when I marched in. Music was pre-recorded on my daughter's iPod Touch too.

Then the minute came. All rose up in the little Red Reading Room where I wedded. I marched in, no music. I looked down on the floor, no petals.

And then I remembered another dear bridesmaid who told me a day before her wedding (when I was her bridesmaid who helped make sure every little thing was perfect.) She said, "A perfect wedding is made up of imperfect details here and there. They are what make your wedding memorable."

She's right.

The flower basket I created in a lightning speed before dashing to the hotel on the eve of my wedding day.

My very beautiful flower girl and her little basket still filled with the rose petals :-D
Photo by Stella C.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We are on Etsy!

We are now on Etsy!

Please visit us there at Etsy, an online dream shopping mall for all those who love providing others something handmade and exquisite.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My wedding - The Story of the Bridesmaids' Barrettes

When my family knew I had altogether eight bridesmaids, in one way or the other I was persuaded on many occasions to "think" if I needed them all.

Yes, I did! I do!

These eight ladies have been really wonderfully irreplaceable, some since, before birth (!), since childhood, since adolescence, since my depression, since every moment of my life! I must have them all!

They are why I am still here, being happy and feeling happy.

It took forever to decide on how to clothe them beautifully and elegantly. And I had thought I would have gotten all the time I needed to create something (handmade) for them as keepsakes.

However, much time was spent on embroidering my own wedding veil, that by the time I remembered making these ladies something nice, I only had two days left before the wedding.

I had decided to give up the idea, when my hair stylist said the other two assistants she helped hire could not come and do hair for my bridesmaids.

I needed "solutions"!!! I kept telling myself. OK, let's make these girls something to put on their hair should no one come and do their hair.

I looked at my collection of ribbons and faux gemstones, and quickly pulled out things that colour-matched the ladies' dresses.

And within one night, eight hair accessories were born.

And within another night, I successfully enlisted help from two professional hair and makeup stylists thanks to one of the bridesmaids' indirect connection.

So, who told me not to keep them all?

I love them all.

Thank you for being in my life, Catherine, Chris, Eva, Irene, Karin, Lisa, Tracy and Yvonne.