Monday, November 09, 2015

A new bag in the making

I started on a new bag pattern on Saturday and actually managed to complete 80% of the bag!

Here's a sneak peek!

What's left is the bag handle, to put in all the closures (I am still trying to decide what type of closures to use) and the sew on my labels.

I am thinking of getting some new labels for my bags. Looking for the metal type. I thought I saw them on FB but can't recall who was selling them.

This bag is a cross between a tote bag and a handbag.

After almost completing it last night, it is bigger than the normal handbag size, but smaller than the usual tote bags.

I can put in a mini laptop, or iPad in the bag, I think.

I'll put up photos when I have fully completed the bag.

Keep a look out for this page!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

NNC Craft Retreat 2015 & NNC 9th Mini Anniversary celebration (Part 4 of 4)

We had just concluded the first ever NNC Craft Retreat held from the 16th to the 17th of October 2015.

Seen here are my cousin-in-laws Zawiyah and Zuraidah at the start of the Retreat with their respective Project kits.

See earlier blog post in 3 parts for more photos.

The Retreat was held in conjunction with NNC’s 9th Anniversary celebration. It was one of the activities planned under NNC throughout the year.

However, since the 8th anniversary celebration was also done this year in April instead of the month of October last year, which was the actual month NNC was formed, we did not have time to organize a big one to commemorate this 9th milestone.

But everyone agreed that we wanted to still celebrate it even in a small way. So, it being a small celebration, there was no exchange of Anniversary Gifts like in previous years. We didn’t have time to get members to prepare one. 

We also couldn’t have the door gifts like we would every year, because we didn’t want to trouble the members to contribute twice in a year to the door gifts.

But food we must have, and Show & Tell, and Lucky Draws!

So Margaret and Paul took up the tasks to organise the Mini Meet, as we call it.

We agreed that the participants of the Retreat who are not NNC members will be our guests at the Mini Meet to appreciate their support for the Retreat.

Initially there supposed to be many who could make it to the Meet, but eventually, as the date grew near, one by one the number of members able to make it dwindled due to prior engagements and conflict of schedule. 

I think having the Meet on a Saturday afternoon instead of a Saturday morning like we always do also had an impact on the number of members who could join us. 

Traffic would be bad on Saturday lunch hour. Some just didn't want to go through the terrible Saturday jams going onto the highways.

Understandable. I go through the traffic jams daily! LOL!

Some prefer to take afternoon naps on Saturdays! LOL! But mostly, members had family commitments which they could not get away with to join the Retreat.

Eventually, other than the NNC members who were Retreat participants, only Mel and Zarina could join us, and of course, our Honorary member, Jackie.

We started the Mini Meet with Show & Tell where each member gets a chance to show off their current projects or projects in progress.

I think the Show & Tell this time around is more organised as each and every member was given time to speak individually while others listened instead of the usual oohs and aahs that we would all do at the same time when everyone starts laying out their works, ending up with no one actually listening to what is being said because it starts getting too noisy as everyone tries to speak at the same time! LOL!

I just love all the works showcased by Sally. She has been very hardworking and productive!

She has a new product in her origami line, but I forgot what it is called. Hydrangea flowers, I think.

Next was Margaret who brought all her lovely cross stitch pieces to show us. She has never shown these pieces to us before, so we were in awe of all the pieces shown. I just love her Mailarts. I use to make them too many moons ago!

Next, Radha showed us all her lovely cross stitch pieces. I just love her needle roll! I have not seen one of those in a long time! Radha even told us the history behind the reasons for the existence of the Needle Roll!  

Radha, our Biscornu Queen, of course, also brought along her many biscornu to show us!

Zarina showcased her lovely puff baby quilt which she is doing for a customer. I love the motifs of the fabric, and the orange made the quilt stand out!

Initially I think Suseela was shy to show off her lovely work, but when she saw how proud we were at showing off our work, she decided to show off her lovely bag and sewing machine cover which she made herself, complete with a cross stitch piece sewn onto them! 

She also showed us her lovely Bionic bag! I am so going to do the bionic bag! LOL!

I just brought my uncompleted Apple Core Quilt to show off. I have not done much crafting since focussing on the Retreat took all the spare time I had.

I also brought along a document bag which I never got around to completing because I wasn’t sure how to attach the handle to the bag. 

I hope to get to Kelvin one of these days to get Kelvin to show me how to do it.

I brought along my Little Missy because some members have not seen them, or have they? OK, maybe they have, but, like I said, I didn’t have much craft products to show this time around.

After the Show and Tell was over, we moved over to the next table showcasing all the completed projects done over the 2 –Day Retreat (see previous postings).

Finally, before we proceeded to the next agenda, which was eating and chatting, we had a short Lucky Draw for all those who attended.

I prepared 2 prizes – one for the participants of the Retreat and another one for NNC members.

Paul was one of the lucky recipient, while Oyah, my cousin-in-law, bagged the other one of a thread organiser complete with threads.

Congrats, Paul and Oyah! Now you won’t have an excuse of not having threads to sew your projects! LOL! ;)

Finally it was time to eat and chat. Like Idah mentioned in one of her FB postings, we love to eat as much as we love to sew! LOL!

There was food enough to cater to at least 20 people! 

Mel made Salmon Cheese Tarts and Chocolate Strawberry pies! Yum! Zarina brought fruits.

We catered the rest from Paul’s friend of who made vegetarian pot pies, curry puffs and rice bubble fudge.

But the highlight of the celebration was the awesome Anniversary cake made by none other than our very own chef Paul!

The cake was so adorable, and it’s PINK!

The cake was so appropriately themed! It had cute little sewing machine with a length of fabrics underneath the needle with the words “NNC 9th Anniversary celebration” written on it!

The little buttons scattered all over the cake were all so cute!

I didn’t feel like cutting into it, but eat the cake we must! LOL! 

After that, everyone just sat down and chatted away until it was time to close down the classroom.

It was a simple Mini Meet with only 10 of us, but we enjoyed the Mini meet just the same. 

The usual loads of food was there. So were the happy chats and oohs and aahhs over each work showcased. 

Although it would have been even more fun with more members joining us, but I guess this time, the timing was just not right with so many members already having prior engagements, despite making plans to have the Meet was made and announced at the board much earlier.

I thank everyone who took time to join us for the Mini Meet, including the participants of the Retreat.

Hopefully the 10th Anniversary will be celebrated at a bigger scale with as many members as possible able to join us!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

NNC Craft Retreat 2015 – Day Two of the Retreat (Part 3 of 4)

For the 2nd day of the Retreat, I was a little concerned that we might not get the 3rd project done as I still had the pincushion for the Etui to show how to do.

So the night before the 2nd day, I sent everyone a whatsapp to ask them to try to make it by 8.30am or latest by 8.45am so that we can have a head start on the 3rd project, giving me some extra time to show them how to do the pincushion.

Everyone was very cooperative when everyone arrived early or on time. It being a Saturday, traffic was light and we were also able to park right in front of the Meeting Center, instead of having to drop off our things first and then parking our car quite a distance from the place.

As soon as everyone finished setting up their sewing machines, it was full concentration from the word go.

Our 3rd project was the choice project of either the Dresden Plate Block Quilt or the Reversible Bag. 

I had prepared myself for a challenging day as I would be teaching 2 projects at the same time.

But I was surprised how things moved on smoothly with no hiccups at all! 

Everyone was being very cooperative, focused and eager to get the 3rd project going.

Only Sally and Margaret opted for the Dresden Plate Quilt Block, while Paul, Idah, Oyah, Suseela and Radha chose the Reversible Bag as their 3rd project for the Retreat.

Even though the Dresden Plate Quilt Block looked complicated, but it was far easier than the Reversible bag. It only required sewing of only one circle, while the rest were just straight sewing.

The Reversible Bag, on the other hand, had curves at almost every stage of the sewing! 

But that did not deter Radha from completing her bag! She was determined to complete it!

She could surely win the Determination Award if ever there was one!

She told us that her sister was impressed with her the day before when she brought home a completed Lotus Bag. 

I told Radha that her sister is going to be even more surprised when she brings home a completed Reversible Bag at the end of the 2nd day!

BTW, Radha, thanks for your compliments and vote of confidence when you said that you’d join my class again should I run another sewing class! I’ll be looking forward to have you in my class again! 

Twenty minutes before we stopped to break for lunch, I showed everyone how to make the pincushion for the Etui Sewing Box. That got everyone eager to finish off their pincushion before lunch so that it can be showcased after lunch during our Mini NNC 9th Anniversary celebration.

So eager was everyone that we finally only stopped for lunch at 1.30pm! LOL!

I had such great hardworking students! I’ll have this set of students in my class anytime!

After lunch, we set up the classroom into a Show Gallery of sorts as we showcased all the completed projects.

In my excitement to see all the completed projects, I forgot to snap a close-up of each individual projects, but remembered to snap a photo of everyone with their projects.

These individual close-ups came from the participants themselves which they sent to me by whatsapp. Thanks, everyone!

Only Suseela’s close-up photo of her project is missing.

A very pleased Suseela
A salute to Radha, who, despite not having a sewing machine of her own, managed to complete 2 bags besides the Etui!

Idah with her Black and white set of finished projects!

Idah was well coordinated with her finished pieces when she also wore black and white on the last day of the Retreat.

Was that planned or a coincidence, Idah?

Margaret made changes to her set of Dresden Plate Quilt Block to suit her choice of colours, and I think it turned out great!

I just love the combination of blue and red!

Zawiyah or Oyah with her completed projects

I think Oyah's last minute decision to change the threads for the Reversible Bag was a good one as it highlighted the gold threads in the fabric.

Paul with his completed projects.

The reverse side of Paul's Reversible bag is a camouflage fabric which was bought specially from Penang.

Unfortunately I forgot to ask Paul to reverse the bag after taking this photo, but you can see the fabric here in this photo of Paul working on the Reversible bag.

Sally with her completed projects.

If I am doing a set for myself, I think I'll do in this combination! I just love all the shades of PINK in all the projects!

Great work, everyone!

Overall, I think the Retreat was a success.

Having a small group is a huge plus, in my opinion.

Even though, initially I was targeting for 20 participants, but when I couldn’t get the number I was targeting for, I decided that maybe it was a blessing in disguise after all.

I think 10 would have been a good number, but I am glad that we ended up having only 9, even though eventually only 7 turned up.

In fact, I think even if we had we had all 9 turn up, it would have been just the right number of students to teach a craft class. It gave me the opportunity to give more focus on each participant.

Another plus point was that we were among people we are familiar with. We were among families.

Margaret, Sally, Radha, Paul and I are all NNC members who we are all very close to. 

Then there was Suseela, Radha’s SIL – a family member. 

Zuraidah and Zawiyah are my cousin-in-laws who I am also close to.

So having people we all know before and are close to helps a lot. For one thing, they are more forgiving, like the first day when, despite my meticulous planning, *blush* I still missed out the poly fiber fill for the pincushion for the Etui Sewing Box!

I think a total stranger might not be as forgiving, and would probably go onto FB and start complaining as soon as he or she could get online! LOL!

Despite my relatively strict (was I really strict? *wink*) way of teaching, every participant was very cooperative and did not give me much problems. 

In fact, they gave me no problems at all, except for one naughty participant who we still love her just the same no matter how nakal she is *wink*, and one star student who just couldn’t wait for the others to get done! LOL! *wink*

But, like Paul said, star students make life very easy for the teachers because then you can focus on the others, and a naughty student makes class less boring. LOL! *wink*

But I think I was not actually strict, but more of wanting to show the correct way of doing things, and not cincai macai, because I wanted to make sure that everyone learns the correct way first before they start making their own changes to suit the way they do things.

Suseela took a tailoring class before so she’s had some basic sewing skills, which also makes teaching her a breeze.

I was initially worried when Radha told me that she was not so looking forward to making the bags because of the sewing involved. But I must salute her for her dedication! 

Despite not having her own sewing machine (she shared a sewing machine with Suseela and Paul), she did managed to complete both bags and the Etui Sewing Box! Tabik spring gitu!

I am very happy to have cousin-in-laws Zuraidah (Idah) 

and Zawiyah (Oyah) join the Retreat, both an expert in their fields. 

Idah takes awesome photos with her professional camera, while I have always admired Oyah’s painting works.

So to be able to share my knowledge and introduce them to another type of craft was a great honour. Thanks for your support, Idah and Oyah!

Paul is an exemplary student.

He is a teacher himself and knows the stress of teaching students who are lazy or would not listen to the teacher, so he gave me no problems at all! I’ll have him in my class any time! *wink*

I think everyone had fun! I had fun teaching. I had a great class to teach!

This Retreat, hopefully will be the first of many more Retreats and Craft Classes to come in the future! 

It will be more challenging with different projects to teach over the years as the participants will be expecting different kinds of projects each year, but I hope I’ll always be up to the challenge, with support from friends!

Thanks, everyone, for joining the Retreat! It was a great honour to have you all in my class!

I think everyone went home happy and satisfied.

I hope that you will use the knowledge learned over the 2 days to make more similar projects.

Should any of you need a refresher course, just let me know. I am just a whatsapp away! 

NNC 9th Anniversary Mini Celebration coming up! (Part 4 of 4)