Sunday, July 30, 2006

Ainul's Baby Banner

This is actually an old piece which Zalita, or better known as Cheeze, Azie, or some may know her as Lilo, and myself did as a present for Aida's daughter, Ainul.

I was browsing thru my webshot album and realised that I have yet to post this on my blog and decide to do so, just so that I have a record of it, since this blog is more often updated than my webshot album.

I had enjoyed stitching the piece (the ballerina teddy bear), and I am sure Azie and Cheeze had enjoyed stitching their piece too, and we in turn, hope that Ainul will grow up to know the aunties that had put in the hours to do the piece! LOL! *wink*

I finished it using pink cottons that I had previously bought from Quilt Gallery. Will we be seeing it hanging on Ainul's wall when she gets a room of her own, Aida? *wink*

Saturday, July 29, 2006

JE SAL progress report

I promised a report on Friday, but cudn't post it because I was in a state of shock! *wink*

Anyway, not much progress actually. Did not stitch much last week. Spent most of my free time between doing household chores, studying. It's hard when you get to my age (eerr....what age wud that be? *wink*) when what U just read in the morning, you can already easily 4get by the evening! LOL! Guess I'll just have to keep on reading, huh? *wink*

It's a slow progress. I will be taking a break from stitching for two weeks until after my exams are over on 15th August. Can't wait!

Friday, July 28, 2006

A sad day.......

It is a sad day for me yesterday, and I am still feeling sad today......

I was in Penang yesterday for a project briefing. On our way to d airport, we stopped
by for lunch at a gerai ikan bakar (grilled filled). The driver had parked the car across the street from d restaurant. We sat not too far inside d restaurant, and only went in for a quick 20 minutes meal. When we came out, the car window had been smashed and my laptop and a colleague's handbag stolen. Her handbag had contained her car keys, land title (she had wanted to drop by the land office to do an ownership title change) and her plane tickets. Luckily she took along her purse and handphone into d restaurant.

Also together with my laptop bag were my note padbook containing information valuable to me in managing my work. I also had the latest issue of Cross Stitcher and a Fench XS mag I bought at d airport. That's doubly sad for me.....*wink* Kidding!

I only got back into KL past 8 pm after making a police report, and after d incident, I was feeling traumatised all day. I lost all interest to do anything else after that.

M sad that this has happened although I know it's all fated. I am a very careful person, and would always doubly check the car each time I leave the car to make sure that I had properly locked it, and especially if I leave anything inside d car, to make sure that it is well hidden from sight.

Yesterday, everything was beyond my control. The car was not mine. I had informed the driver about the notebook, and he had said that everything will be ok. I had hidden the laptop the best I could, but, again, it was not my car to insist on this and that to make sure that the laptop is safe and the car secure.

There are a 1001 ways that I cud have done to avoid it from happening, and all these ways are racing thru my mind all evening yesterday, last nite, and even today even as I type this posting, but, it was fated that it was going to happen no matter what I did. Am I just trying to console myself in my attempt to make my guilt go away?

I am sad.........I hope my mood will pick up for the better today. I need to. I need to get back to my studying. I need to concentrate.......*sigh*

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A piece by Paula, Doris and Nik! *wink*

A quick note on this one.

The piece is designed by Paula Vaughn, stitched by Doris, and I may add, at a very fast pace! LOL! And the finishing is done by me! *grin* How's that for a collaborated piece of art? LOL! *wink* Although I can only take credit for the finishing, I am, never the less, proud to be a part of this lovely piece of work, albeit a very small part. I hope I had done justice to this lovely piece with my humble finishing work.

Doris had met up with Paula on one of her annual trips to the United States (how I envie her!). She met up with Paula last year and Paula had kindly presented her a book featuring beautiful pieces of flower designs and had asked that Doris stitch at least one of the designs from that book.

Doris had lovingly stitched this beautiful piece and had asked me if I would do her a favour to finish it off into something that Paula could use and keep. I told her I'd be honoured.

Looking at d piece, despite the flowers being kind of a fushcia colour, I decided on dark green as the main colour for the cushion cover, picking up from the lovely greens of the leaves. I figured it would bring up the stitched piece more than if I had gone ahead with a fushcia coloured cotton. I think I made the right decision. Don't U think so? *wink* I think it really brought up the piece and did justice to Doris' lovely stitched piece and Paula's beautiful design.

I hope both Doris and Paula will love the finish product, as much as I had enjoyed finishing it for Doris.

Do send Paula my regards, Doris, when U hand deliver the piece to Paula in August. You think U cud get Paula to give me an autograph copy of the flower book from which the design had come from? It wud be a nice momento for me. *wink* Now how's that for a hint! LOL!

Did I just say it was going to be just a quick note? *grin*

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I've got the jitters!

Yup! The jitters are back!

The exams are two weeks away, and I can't help but feel the jitters all over me! LOL! It's like as if I am sitting for my Malaysian Certificate of Examination (MCE) some 25 years ago! LOL! This is crazy! And this is not the 1st time I am sitting for this exam. I sat for it last year in November, and passed, thank God.

I know that I should already be thankful with the results I already got, but I am resitting the papers again to improve my results, and further more, I had encourgement from friends, and especially my hubby who is taking the exams for the 1st time this year. He has to attend the whole course which is a week long, which includes assignments, public speaking (malay and english) and paper presentation. I wish him luck. I wish us both luck. I have confidence in my hubby. I wish I have confidence in myself too! LOL! But, M sure, with encouragement from friends and family, I should be doing ok, if not great! *wink*

Anyway, friends, do wish me luck! Wud sure appreciate it! Thanks! *smile*

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A very slow progress.....

Yup, I can't seem to make fast progress on this piece. I think it has got to do with the fact that this design has so many shades of blue that is so close, and when stitching at nite, it can be quite confusing.

I spent last Thursday nite stitching for an hour, but spent the last 20 minutes of that 1 hour frogging it because I kept getting confused with d close shades of blue and miscounted! LOL!

I can't wait to move on to the saucer and cup next to the center tea pot, but the use of mostly whites in the cup and saucer also slowed me down coz, when stitching at nite, I can't make out if I had stitched the whites or not! LOL! My eyes are getting old! LOL!

I have started on the border a little bit, and that helps to show for some progress, and motivated me to keep on going, because the borders are quite consistant in design.

I think it has been a long time since I did a pattern that calls for so much detail. I know this piece, when completed, is going to be a very pretty piece. So, I am hoping that all my `hard work' will pay off just to see it completed.

I am glad that I am actually doing a Stitch-A-Long (SAL) with Barbara on this piece, coz it keeps me going. I think if I was doing this piece alone, I'd probably.....only probably *wink*, that I might just give it up, because of the confusing shades of blue. I guess that is the reason why Najwa gave up on doing it.

I am not giving up this piece, right, Barbara?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

How time flies.......

My last posting was more than a week ago! How time flies! You know the saying "How time flies when U are having fun"? But, no, I wasn't having fun!

I had a bad sore throat on Thursday and it affected my overall general health. I couldn't sleep well, waking up every couple of hours with a coughing fit. I was glad that the doctor gave me medical leave on Friday, coz if I had gone ahead to wrok, I would have looked like a zombie! LOL!

I spent the morning on Friday, stitching and the afternoon to sort out and organize the guest bedroom since my mum is in town. I have been wanting to take leave so that I can clean up the bedroom and organize things around, but work in the office has been so hectic, that there was no way I could take a leave of absence from work. But, as God would have fated it, my body needed to rest, but no way would I be able to be take leave with my present work load, unless I got to be too sick to come to work. Nope, I did not fake the sore throat. LOL! I just woke up on Thursday morning croaking! LOL! I think I was already too stressed out! *grin*

This week is no different. It's been hectic, with meetings that last till past 6pm almost daily. I have been coming home so late, all tired out, I can't even lift a needle. My stitching is just staring at me. My JE SAL with Barbara is not coming along as fast as I had hoped it would. Barbara had just posted her progress and I am no where near her progress. *sigh*

I hope to catch up on some stitching this weekend. I hope I will hv some free time to myself to do some of my own things. I know I won't be having much time of my own in 2 weeks time bcoz I plan to resit my PTK Ujian paper this coming August, not because I did not do well, but because I just wanted to improve the results. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

She's done it again!

huh? Who's done it again?

My former maid, that's who. Yup, even without her anymore in our company, she has managed to create havoc and turn everyone's life topsy turvy!

Yesterday evening, my MIL and SIL's maid ran away together, leaving the kids ranging from 3 yrs old to 11 yrs old to fend for themselves. My in-laws had gone out on a movie date earlier, and had told her maid to prepare dinner (I was spending the nite there), but said that she and her husband won't be back till after dinner.

I guess they seize the opportunity to act their plans out as soon as my in-laws left for the cinema because according to my son, the maids were still around at 4.30pm. My in-laws left at 4.00 pm. Tea was laid out on the table.

It was only realised that the maids were missing when my 3 yr old niece woke up from her afternoon nap and started crying out for the maid. My 6 yr old son, upon realising that the maids were missing, went upstairs to inform Pak Chu (the uncle) on what had happened.

My 11 year old niece was upstairs on the computer while my brother-in-law was getting ready to go out. His (my BIL) maid (she helps him with his nasi lemak bizness) was downstairs crying her hearts out upon realising that the other 2 maids had left..errrr..ran away while she was in the shower.

Next, my son called up my hubby (in Kuching) on the phone to tell him that 'kak Siti dan kak Maria dah takde. Baju semua takde' (The maids are gone, and so are their clothes).

I am so proud of my son. Despite being only 6 years old and there being two other older cousins around (my 11 yr old niece and 10 yr old nephew) and a 35 year old maid who just burst into tears upon finding out, when they did nothing, he took charge by informing my BIL and calling up his abah to report on what has happened.

Later when I arrived at my in-laws house that evening, I managed to chat up with my BIL's maid. I asked her if she knew anything of what had happened prior to that day. According to her, my SIL's maid had received a letter from my former maid (they are related) about a month or so ago. It seems that my former maid had outlined a plan for them to run away. She had told them that she has jobs for them, and that it wud be no problem at all to get them new passports and identification papers. She will be waiting for them as soon as they execute their escape plan. Why didn't my BIL's maid tell us? She was scared. She also said that she came to Malaysia to work, and is not looking for trouble. If only the other maids think the same way. *sigh*

My SIL's maid has been bringing her clothes to my MIL's house little by little each day in preparation for an opportunity to ran away. They have been waiting for the right time and day. Can you imagine what lies they have been living in, and how much we have trust in them? How could they live with themselves, espeicially when a 3 yr old child is involved? Have they no campassion?

My MIL hardly leaves the house with just the kids and the maids. But, I suppose, after more than 9 months of working with us, WE tend to TRUST them, but, sad to say, they do not reciprocate. People like these, you can never trust them, no matter how long they have been with us. It is sad........

My MIL is a very nice women, never has she ever risen her voice to the maids. She treats them well, I can be certain of that. I don't think my MIL overworks the maids. There isn't much to do in the house, and anyway, with my SIL and BIL's maid also there, all household chores are spread out. In fact, my SIL's maid spends most of her time in front of the TV while she takes care of my 3 yr old niece.

They have ran away. Are we to blame? On Sunday, the Immigration Department Foreign Workers Division director Alwi Bavutty said that employers would be blacklisted and could only hire new maids if their appeals were allowed. He said that, "There must be something wrong with the employer for his maids to run away or if he has to change them so many times," he said.

Has Alwi ever had a maid? Has he had no problems with them? Maybe, by virtue of him being the Immigration Dept's Foreign Wokers Division Director, he can get the best maid from any country that wishes to send their people here to work.

How could he think of blacklisting my MIL when all she did was to treat the maids well. Is the action (to blackmail) justified? I think Alwi should not make a blanket statement (to balcklist), but should look at it case by case.

I treat my maids well, yet the last one gave me so much problems. She was trouble from day one. Remember that she lied about she being here to work in a restaurant? She also lied about praying. She lied too about doing a certain chore, but never actually doing it. She is forever acting. If ever there is a BEST ACTRESS award for foreign maids, I'd nominate my former maid, but, then again, why would she deserve any awards? I was constantly under stress throughout the 6 months she was with me.

She is still giving us problems till today despite us terminating her contract with us 3 months ago, and despite her not even being in our presence. Am I to blame for her behavior? If Alwi so much as want to penalize us for something we have no control over, than give us the right to lock up our maids in the house just to ensure that they do not run away, but, of course that would be so inhumane. But, is penalizing for something you have no control over a very humane and considerate thing to do? *sigh*

I hope that one day Alwi will get a taste of the same medicine that he prescribed to others, only then he will feel for us and understand what we have to go through with problematic maids sent to us by irresponsble agents.

If Alwi can gurantee us that we will always get 1st class maids, but it is us that cannot work with these 1st class maids, only then can he apply the penalization on us. But 1st, get us the 1st class maids.

Monday, July 03, 2006

A productive weekend!

When my hubby said that he had to work last weekend, and compounded to that, it is to be outstation, my 1st reaction was "Oh no! Can I cope without him?" It will be the 1st full weekend that I will be very much on my own since we have been without a maid.

We had agreed that he would babysit our son while I go for the Stitcher's Meet at Chatters on Saturday, and there was the swimming lesson on Sunday. I also hate cooking just for myself. I felt cooking just for me and my son is not worth the effort. U know, the preparation part, the cooking, and later the cleaning up? I might as well buy. My son is happy just eating kuew toew goreng kerang, nothing fancy. Love him for that! He is just like his abah! Not too fussy when it comes to food. But, my son is also not too adventurous when it comes to food. that good or bad? *scratching my head*

Anyway, back to my weekend story, my hubby was worried that I might get bored just staying home. Men! They just don't understand that women cannot get bored staying home if they have loads of household chores to do! LOL! But, as it turned out, I had a very productive and satisfying, albeit, tiring weekend!

I told my hubby when he told me that he had to work on the weekend that Allah wants to test me, and see if I have the strength and courage to handle things on my own, to prepare me for the time when he might have to work outstation for longer periods of time. Well, I managed to do my usual household chores and more, alhamdullillah, thank God! I hope I had passed the test!

Anyway, back to my weekend report, besides the Saturday event that I have reported earlier, I thought that I wud have some time to myself on Sunday to start on the JE SAL, but, alas, it was not meant to be!

Usually my hubby takes my son 4 his swimming lessons on Sundays, but with him outstation *sob*, I had to take over the man's job. *grin* We left at 11.30am in time 4 his 12 noon class. I decided to bring along my hardanger, hoping that I will be able to put in a few stitches. M glad I did, coz I found a fairly shaded spot by the wading pool, where my son was having his lessons.

I actually managed to finish the piece I was doing! Hardanger is such a mobile hobby coz all I needed to bring was 2 colours of thread, a scissors, hoop and, of course the piece to be stitched.

I managed to stitch for about half an hour when I had to stop coz it started to get too hot, and also, one of the kids, a boy of about 10 yrs old, started doing a kick in d pool, and splashing water
everywhere! LOL!

After class, we had a quick lunch at A&W b4 proceeding for a haircut. Got home with just enough time to get my son to take a short nap before I recvd an sms from Doris asking if it was ok for her to come over to drop off her Paula Vaughan piece.

Doris brought along so many lovely books and charts by Paula, all autographed by her personally. I especially like the book on flowers. Doris said that she has an unautograph copy and wud sell it to me.

Of course, I saw the piece done by Doris whch she wants me to finish it into a cushion cover or something. It's a really nice piece! I hope I can find a suitably nice cotton to match it, and I hope I can do justice to the piece!

After a chat and showing off my stitching room, Doris left with her hubby and doter. It was nice meeting up Doris again after almost 2 years!

I finally had some time after getting my son to bed at 9.00pm to put in some stitches on my JE SAL. I only stitched till 10 pm coz I wanted to watch CSI NY and the JE SAL piece was too big for me to work in front of the TV, while trying to concentrate on the CSI investigation, and me, investigating my charts! LOL!

I decided to work on my hardanger again, hoping to finish another small piece to `show-off' to Ee Koon the next time I see her.

BTW, I spent practically the whole time watching, rather listening to the AF concert, frogging my hardanger! I miscounted and miscounted 3 times! I almost gave up! LOL! I think I was
concentrating on the concert more than my hardanger!

All in all, it was a very productive weekend, though very tiring, coz I was not only doing my usual household chores, I also had to take over some of my hubby's chores. But, as Jo would agree with me, better sakit tangan dan badan, than sakit hati, having a maid who just stresses U out! LOL!

It's D day!

Huh? What day? Heheh....the day to start the Joan Elliot Stitch-A-Long (JE SAL)! Finally, the long awaited time has arrived! However, I did not start mine until Sunday, 2nd July coz I had a very busy Saturday.

In the morning, as usual, I was at Bangsar Village for Aiman's art class. Met up with Ee Koon for my 2nd class on hardanger. Wow! I learnt the cutting part! It was `scary'! LOL! *wink* Ee Koon, cikgu yang garang! *WINK* She gave a small 'scream' when I almost wanted to cut the wrong thread! LOL! heheh........but, coz M such a good *wink*student, teacher Ee Koon cooled lah, Ee Koon, gurauaje....*grin* U are a good teacher **smile*, and M a fast learner, or M I? *wink* I have advanced a little bit more since the 2nd class.

In the evening, after my son took a short nap, we were on our way to Chatters. Raelised that Chatters is just a short drive away from my house! LOL! *duh* When I got to Chatters, the class was well in progress. M probably the only non-tatting student there, or, shall I say, yang menyibuk! LOL! Admired all the lovely tatting pieces did by Faizon. Did not chat much with Faizon nor Emily coz they were buzy tatting along, but managed to catch up with Mona, whom I have not met in months, maybe a year already!
At 6 pm, everyone packed up and left, except for Mona, Azie, Jo and myself (and, of course my son too) for we went shopping at a car booth Linda's car, in front of Chatters! I didn't buy any (this time around, and not yet! *wink*) coz, as usual, I prefer to browse and sleep over it! *wink* Maybe the next time Linda comes over to my house?

It was good to meet up with Faizon, Emily, Mona, Jo, Linda and Azie.Wish I had more time to get to know Faizon and Emily better. Maybe the next time.

BTW, here's another progress - my frog project. Looks like this is gonna have to take a back seat for a while now that I have started on the JE SAL.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

WIP and a piece of art

Just a short posting because it is getting late..well, by my definition it is late! LOL! Yup, it's almost 1.00 am, and I am still tapping the keyboard. It is about the only time at home that I can update my blog - when my son is fast asleep. I can think better. My flow of thoughts doesn't get interrupted every 5 minutes! LOL!

Anyway, here's a peek into the progress of my "NO FROGGING ALLOWED" project. This photo was taken a few days back. I have progressed just a little bit more, though not much. I got distracted by my latest craze - hardanger! LOL! Simply could not put the hardanger project down coz I keep wanting to try out new things/stitching even though I have not learnt the whole method yet from Ee Koon. Ilmu belum cukup! LOL! But, already eager to advance! LOL!

I am meeting Ee Koon again this Saturday. Hopefully, she can pull herself out of bed just slightly earlier than last week so that we, rather, I will have more time to learn! LOL! Jangan marah, Ee Koon! *wink* Will post more progress as I learn more from Ee Koon.

In the mean time, here is a snapshot of my son's latest artwork which he produced during his 3rd lesson. The title says ANIMALS. Yup, that's a dog and a peguin. *proud mummy smiling* Though he hasn't quite got the shape right just yet, as a mother, I am still proud of his work, none the less.