Wednesday, December 31, 2008


It's the last day of the year already! Wasn't it only yesterday that we celebrated a brand new year? How time flies!

I am sad to see 2008 go, but I hope that 2009 will bring me and my family much happiness, health and wealth.

I hope that 2009 will bring me many good luck, and may I succeed in every good thing that I do. May God always protect us.

I have more that I want to say, reminiscing back the year 2008, but I just can't yet put them down in words. Maybe I'll do it later tonite when things are more It's new year's eve! It's never quiet on New Year's Eve! LOL! At my house, it is! LOL! *grin* I would either be watching the New Year concert on TV, or my hubby would watch a movie.

Last year, we both slept early after a long day at work! LOL! *grin*

Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!

*Clipart resource -

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Condolences

Tuanku Ja'afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman
1922- 2008

When I heard over the radio of His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan’s passing yesterday, I felt like I lost someone I knew in person. I couldn’t figure out why I felt that way until later today as I was driving did it finally dawn on me why I thought that I had personally met him and spoken to him, because I really did some 14 years ago.

I met him when His Majesty was the then DYMM Yang Di Pertuan Agong. He conferred upon me the Ahli Mangku Negara (A.M.N.), and as he was about to pin the medal on me, we spoke briefly.

He asked me where I was from, and what my profession was. He was very impressed when told that I am an Architect with the government and asked how long I have been in service.

I remember him to be a very pleasant man, and he made me feel very special that day despite there being more than 100 over other more important people waiting to be bestowed other awards that day.

It’s a day that I will remember forever.

My heartfelt and deepest condolences to KDYMM Tuanku Ampuan Negeri Sembilan and the Royal Family on the demise of Al-Marhum KDYMM Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Ja’afar Ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman.


LOVE quilt progress and other projects

Thank God for the extended weekend (I took leave on Friday, 26th December), I managed to do quite a lot of things at home, and that includes my crafting.

On Christmas day itself, I spent the morning and part of the afternoon working on the “In the mood for LOVE” quilt. I will tell more about it later.

In the evening, after dinner, I worked on the lunch bag, in preparation for my Friday class. I attended the class at Epal (yeah, where I broke my needle threader. Urrgghh!) while my hubby took my son out in the morning to run errands, and later to do Friday prayers. So that about gave me 4 hours to attend class, which worked out just great for me. Only, I spent the first 1 hour of the class unpicking the water bottle bag FIVES times!

The instructions in the book for the project which came with the machine when I bought it were confusing and, I think, to a certain extent, wrong.

The instructions say to cut the length of strips (4 pieces in two different fabrics) at 45 degrees at 2” away from the edge of the strips, and then attaching it to one another. When I did that, I ended up with 2 strips which were about 3 inches short. When I tried to match it to make the pattern called for in the book, it would not match up due to the shortness in length.

It seems that you are not supposed to cut the fabric at 45 degrees at the 2” length, but, just at the very top, attach it, and then cut it to the correct length. So, Tini, if you are planning to do this lunch bag, make sure that you don’t cut it up the way it says in the instructions.

I told the instructor about it, but she did not look like she will inform the management about it. She just kept saying that, “Ya! Susah sikit, tapi boleh buat. Payah aje sikit. Kena adjust” (Yup, difficult, but it can be done. Just difficult a bit. Just need to adjust). When I asked her how do I adjust so that I don’t have to re-cut my fabric (I had already re-cut the fabric 3 times before this!), she just told me to re-cut. *sigh*

Anyway, I finally managed to get that part of the water bottle bag done right, but made another mistake with the bottom part of the bag when the circle piece for the bottom of the bag did not fit snugly, and that’s when I broke the needle threader when probably parts of the bag piece or pins must have gotten stuck with the threader as I struggled to try to fit in the bottom piece with the body of the bag. *sigh*

I came home to finish the water bottle bag, and completed the placemat, which was part of the set, close to 1.00 a.m. last night while my hubby watched a movie. I completed the lunch bag itself in the evening before dinner as I sat down next to my son who was doing his math’s workbook.

This is one project where I feel that my workmanship wasn’t the best. I struggled with many parts of the lunch bag and the water bottle bag, and broke the needle threader in the process, which makes me really mad with myself for not being a little bit more patient when I did the bag. *sigh* It’s water under the bridge already anyway. BUT, I am very proud of my embroidery work though! LOL! *wink* I think I did a pretty good job of the appliqué work too! *grin*

Upon completing this project, I have thus far completed 4 projects already at Epal. I need another 8 projects to complete should I want to get a certificate of completion from Epal. It will entitle me to get a loan from MARA should I want to purchase any of the higher end JANOME machines as MARA supports SMIs (Small Medium Industries) in support of the government’s move to encourage small cottage industries.

I am not sure yet if I will want to get a loan from MARA to get another JANOME machine, but I do want to get the certificate of completion just as proof of what I had done. Who knows when it might just come in handy! *wink* Something to think about after retirement, maybe? *wink* Maybe………just…maybe……. *grin*

Anyway, I have already opened up the 2nd December project kit this morning just to see what to expect for this project. It’s a quilted wall hanging calendar. Tini had already started on it when I was working on the lunch bag set. It is already nearing the end of December and I am only just about to start on it………hmmm…… *grin*

Moving on to my other projects, I completed my firework bag on Saturday, 13th December 2008, in class at Epal when I finally stitched the buckle onto the bag. I did extra work when I quilted the entire firework motif as was instructed to me by the male teacher during one of my earlier classes. I was told that it was not necessary to do so by Lieza who graded my bag, but, since I did it already, I think it made the motif stand out even better. It was worth the extra work that I did quilting it.

Now for a project that I completed more than two weeks ago and have been wanting to show-off, but work at the office has been so hectic, I come home too exhausted to do any blogging for the last 2 weeks – the SOCCER QUILT I made for Aiman!

I think I finally put in the last stitch on 8th December 2008, at about 10.00pm, just in time for Aiman’s bedtime. He was eagerly waiting for me to put in that very last stitch into his quilt! LOL!

I presented it to him as my hubby was tucking him in bed, and he quickly snuggled into it, pretending to be fast asleep when I snapped the photo! LOL!

I made up my mum cum guest bed for this photo shoot two days ago so that I can properly `show-off’ *wink* all my hard work. *grin*

I have taken close ups of some parts of the quilt to show you the corners of the quilt, the hand quilting of the soccer balls and the 16-patch (front and back). I don’t know if you can actually see it in the photos.

I also took close-up photos to show parts of the binding and the border and the backing piece, which, I must say that I am very happy with the way the binding and the border match almost to perfection. Even the backing piece matched up to the binding, even though I had bought the backing piece online and could not put them together for matching prior to making the purchase.

I hope that Aiman will treasure this gift from me for a long time to come, if not, for a lifetime. Love you, Aiman! Love you very much!

Okay, back to the “In the mood for LOVE” quilt, I attended class today and completed all the patchwork blocks for the top piece, and have put them all together already this afternoon! Doesn’t it look so sweet? *wink* (Photo taken at Quilt Gallery)

Now what is left is the borders in 2 ½” and 6” in two different colours which I am still undecided which fabric I should use. I might use the flower motif for the 6” border, but I don’t have enough of any of the other fabrics to make up the 2 ½” border. I might need to do some shopping for that. I also still need to do the binding together with the batting and backing piece.

I need to do some designing for the backing piece as I bought all what was left on the bolt at Yee’s in SS2 when they were having the year end sale, but it was still not enough to make my backing. I just simply love the fabric as it matched the top of the quilt, but I might need to add some other fabric that complements it to make up what I don’t have enough of. I need 7 ½ yards, but what was left was only 6 yards.

I just can’t wait to complete this quilt and snuggle into it with my hubby! *wink*

Friday, December 26, 2008


I am so darn mad with myself today, and frustrated too. I broke the needle threader of my new JANOME sewing machine this afternoon while I was working on the water bottle bag. I did not realise it while I was in class at Epal. I only heard something snapped. I thought it was my needle.

If I knew that it was my needle threader that snapped, I would have asked them if they have spare parts and could repair it. Now I will only know tomorrow afternoon when they open at 10.00am. *sigh*

I only realised that it was my needle threader that snapped when I came home and wanted to use the needle threader to work on the water bottle bag. So my machine is handicapped.....

I just hope that Epal has spare parts for the needle threader and it can be repaired. I can still use the machine without having to use the needle threader, but, it's so much easier with the needle threader when I am wearing my contact lenses as I can't focus on small things despite putting on my reading glasses.

I am so mad with myself. I am so sad....

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Steamboat BBQ for lunch

My mum stayed over at our house for the weekend last week. Since I have been wanting to eat steamboat for quite some time already, what better time to do so than when my mum is here with us, as steamboat is best eaten with more than two people. It's more fun!

We went to Bibi-wok in Bandar Puteri, Puchong (I blogged about the Thai-panyaki I had there with my son more 2 weeks ago). Again we sat at the japanese style table as my son was excited to tell his Tokmi about his first experience of eating japanese style.

We were adviced by the waiter to take the Steamboat BBQ Combo set to start off the meal. Should we decide we want more, we can just order the side dishes to add on. The Steamboat BBQ is priced at RM28.00++ per person for adults, and RM13.00++ for child between the age of 4 - 12 years old. Drinks are not included in the price, but, the side dishes are "All you can eat".

We didn't take all the side dishes that was offerd, but just what we wanted, though my hubby took two scoops of the chocolate ice cream. *grin* They charge you RM3.00 per 100gm for any food wastage.

The BBQ was delicious, especially the lamb pieces. The steamboat was quite good (my mum and hubby said the chicken soup was nice. I would have prefered the tom yam soup, but we could not order both) though I could not understand why corn on the cob was served as part of the steamboat combo. Never eaten corn on the cob steamboat before! LOL! It looks odd and out of place! *grin*

The salmon ball was really nice! The yee mee and maggi (my son's request, but, of course! LOL!) dipped in steamboat completed the meal. I think it was a delicious alternative to the usual meals which we have daily, though my son had his hand burnt from the side of the BBQ grill in his excitement to fill up the grill. *grin*

Now he has a scar on his hand which he proudly showed off to his grandpa and his cousins. Must be cool to him since he had never had a burn scar before! LOL!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Exchanges for 2009

Opps! I just realised that I have commited myself to quite a number of exchanges already for 2009, and I have not even given much thought to any of it yet! Oh NO!

Just as a reminder to myself, I am putting them down here so that should I need to know what they are, or be reminded, I can just come here instead of cracking my head trying to remember what they are and what I have to make! *grin*

1. Valentine exchange 2009 (mailing out date - 25 Jan 2009) - that's close to Chinese New Year! Must send out earlier!
Send a heart shaped item (red/pink), add a rose, pink/red floss, wool, yarn and a card.

My partner is Anna! Looks like Anna and I are inseparable. She has been my partner for 2 exchanges already so far, or was that 3? *grin* Sorry, Anna, that you got me again! *wink*

2. NNC 2nd Anniversary Gift Exchange
The get together will be held on 7 February 2009 at my house. I have not given that much thought yet as to what I want to cook/make for the get together as it will be potluck style, much less for gift exchange! In trouble, am I? LOL! *wink*

3. Pin cushion exchange - flower theme (mailing out date - 15 March 2009)
Flower themed pincushion exchange. Pincushion must be handmade (cross-stitched, crochet, knitted, tatted, stitched,etc). Pincushion size - minimum 3 inches. Minumum of 3 flower themed stash to be sent together with the pincushion

My partner for this exhange is Shanny in Switzerland.

4. Birthday Exchange 2009
A year long exchange. Minimum $15 gift in your country's currency.

My partner is.....oopps! It's supposed to be a surprise to my partner who his/her partner is. *wink*

FOUR exchanges! I think that is enough......for now! LOL!

I'd better get cracking!

I am nervous.......

Each time I think about the PTK (Penilaian Tahap Kecekapan) exams which I would have to take next year in order to be confirmed into my post, I get all nervous, and cold shivers run down my back.

I cannot help feeling that way as it is getting stiffer, and the competition is getting greater as I will have to compete with some of my juniors who are like 8 or 10 years younger than me in age and service. It's all because the top management or someone in the human resource department created an anomali when they promoted the juniors the same time that they promoted the seniors about a year back. Someone blundered, and now, we seniors are in great competiton with the juniors who are younger, more enegetic, and have the advantage of good memory because of their age when it comes to remembering the things they studied.

I am nervous...... I just hope that I will be able to do well for the exams and the project papers which I would have to prepare for next year, as part of the exam syllabus.

Wish me luck! I pray that I will get this through with one sitting, insyaAllah. If not, the competition and the expectation is going to be even greater......

Monday, December 22, 2008

The tailor’s chalk has evolved…..

I went to Sakura at SS19 Subang Jaya recently to take advantage of their year end sale to buy some fabrics for my tote bags. I did more than just buy fabrics! I bought quite a few tools and gadgets for my sewing, and I think my stitching friends will agree with me that it is to be expected when you make a trip to your favorite craft shop! LOL!

Did I tell you that I also made to trip to Yee’s (Craftworld at SS2) a few days after that and broke the bank with my purchase there too? LOL! *wink* Will tell more about that later. But, first, I want to tell you about the tailor’s chalk I bought at Sakura which I think has evolved and come a long way from what it used to look like some God knows how many years ago.

The chalk now looks more like a small pen, in fact, almost like a thumb drive, measuring only 4” by about ¾” with a cap to protect the tip. The tip is like a roller which, when rolled, will leave behind a chalk trail. The lines are precise and clean; unlike the normal tailor’s chalk that can sometimes give you blur lines when the edges are no longer sharp, and leaves behind a chalky residue.

This roller pen tailor’s chalk also does need sharpening as it stays sharp because of the roller edge. I think this gadget will be one gadget I will be using a lot in the future to mark my fabrics, and I think you will find it useful too when you give it a try.

What else did I buy at Sakura? Well, errr……hmm…lots! LOL! *wink* Here goes…..

I bought a pair of rings for holding my 3 layers of rolled quilt when doing machine quilting, 2 pairs of very sharp scissors in pink and blue, rotary cutter blade in a pack of 3, which I was told was priced quite reasonably at RM38.00 a pack for 3, blue and white water soluble marker pen and this interesting ultra thimble which you just put at the tip of your fingers and acts like a thimble.

Diane from NNC was telling me about it and she wanted to get a pack for me when I told her that my fingers are sore from being poked while hand quilting the soccer quilt. I told her that I have never seen one like it here in Malaysia. Well, now it’s here! I have yet to use it though, since I bought it only after I had finished hand quilting the soccer quilt.

I also bought a set of small boxes to put in little sewing nicks and knacks like pins, needles, safety pins and other little things which before this were stuffed in all sorts of boxes of many shapes and sizes. It stacks well, and saves space on the shelves.

Another storage system which I felt was a good buy was this storage carrying box from Prym which I find very useful and very convenient to carry my project things in to class at Quilt Gallery or at Epal.

The box comes in 3 layers – 2 thin and one thick. You can buy the layers individually too should you decide to want to add more layers to carry more things, which I did with my project box for my class at Quilt Gallery. When stacked, the box looks very neat and easy to carry around.

I bought another set later when I went to Yee’s a few days later to carry my projects at Epal because it makes natural sense to carry all my project stuffs using the same system as I can just interchange the top layer where I put my basic sewing stuffs like scissors, markers, and cutters.

See how space saving and neat my Prym storage box and small boxes look when stacked? Cool, huh? *wink* I love buying all these organizing storage items! LOL!

However, for now, I still also do carry another sewing box with me which I have had for the past 5 years or so. It’s got compartments which I like to put my other things which would not fit into the new Prym storage box.

I also bought this rather expensive thread storage box, but I do not regret buying it as now I can see all the colour threads that I have.

Before this, my threads are stored in several boxes and everywhere, and I would end up buying the same colour threads ending up with multiples each time I want to start on a project. With this box, all my expensive threads are kept in this box, while my local threads are kept in two layers of the Prym Storage box.

Both boxes look lovely and neat too when closed, and are also space saving.

Doesn’t this box look great when opened up to display all the lovely colours? It can also be hung up on the wall for display which makes it easier to find just the right colour thread for my projects, but, alas, I have run out of wall space in my craft room. I need to get another house just to put my craft things. Maybe I should just open up a shop? LOL!

That’s how Gill started out on her business! She told me that she wanted to buy so many things for her crafts but simply could not find the space to store them. So, she decided that by having her own shop, she can get anything and everything that she wants! LOL! Great, huh? *grin*

OK, That's my stash for now.....eerr....wait! I still have the fabrics I bought at Yee's and Sakura! *grin*

I think I will put up photos of those in a later posting.*wink*

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A short break in Langkawi

Eer……how many weeks has it been since I last updated my blog? What? Almost THREE weeks ago? Goodness! That long ago? *grin*

I have been busy…extremely busy…busy with work – so many projects need to be tendered out before the end of the year; it’s the rainy season where mud water is flowing everywhere for projects at the earthwork stage that they have to be monitored even more closely; busy at home, this being the school holidays - I always have to find something for Aiman to do to keep him occupied; busy with the things that I want to do, craft wise. It’s a hectic life, but it keeps me happy, and it keeps me going.

Just before the school holidays that started on 15th November 2008, Aiman was already asking us where we are planning to go for the holidays. Both my hubby and I have been so busy with work that we couldn’t even find time to sit down together to discuss any holiday plans. So, when my hubby came back one day to inform us that he had to go to Langkawi for a 4 day workshop, we thought this would be a good opportunity to take Aiman for a holiday too.

I took two days off from work, clearing as much work as I could before going on leave, and delegating the rest that I could not get done on time to my senior officers, to give Aiman a short holiday.

My hubby’s workshop was for 4 days, but we (my son and I) were only in Langkawi for 2 ½ days starting from Sunday, 30th November to 2nd December 2008, as I had to be back in Kuala Lumpur to attend a management course on the 3rd of December.

While in Langkawi, we stayed at Aseana Resort Hotel, a 3 star hotel. The room was rather small but conformable, but the service was really bad. It took them two days to deliver an extra towel, and many hours before we saw sight of an ironing board. The towels smelt funny, like it was dried in a damp area.

The sink counter was too high that Aiman had to stand on his toes to brush his teeth, but, the huge size swimming pool cum water park pretty much made up for much of its lackings.

Aiman had a great time going from the huge swimming pool to the water slide to the wave pool. He found many friends as he went up and down the water slide. He had so much fun, it was hard pulling him away from the water, even to go for lunch or dinner.

“Huh? Lunch? Dinner? What’s that? I am having to much fun! I don’t need to eat!” LOL! That was probably what was going on in Aiman’s mind each time we called him to come out of the pool to go for lunch or dinner. *grin*

I, as usual, brought along my cross stitch to stitch while I wait for Aiman by the pool. It has been a quite a while since I last picked up my cross stitch and it felt so good to pick it up and work on the LHN piece again after such a long break from cross stitching.

I really enjoyed the time to stitch again, and I must say that I progressed quite a lot during this short holiday as Aiman spends time swimming for long hours at a time. I was able to stitch, but yet, keep a close eye on him all the time. It worked well for both of us.

While in Langkawi too, before my hubby's workshop was to start, we also managed to make a trip to visit the Underwater World. Aiman had visited it once before with his Tokmi (my mum), but since both my hubby and I hadn't, Aiman was excited to show us around.

I find this leafy sea dragon very interesting and made a seach for it online to understand this species better.

From what I found, it is said that Sea Dragons are arguably the most spectacular and mysterious of all ocean fish. Though close relatives of sea horses, sea dragons have larger bodies and leaf-like appendages which enable them to hide among floating seaweed or kelp beds.

A fully grown Leafy Sea Dragon grows to about 18 inches (45 cm).

It is also said that Leafy Sea Dragons are very interesting to watch (I couldn't agree more as I watch it move ever so slowly) -- the leafy appendages are not used for movement. The body of a sea dragon scarcely appears to move at all. Steering and turning is through movement of tiny, translucent fins along the sides of the head (pectoral fins, visible above) and propulsion derives from the dorsal fins (along the spine). Their movement is as though an invisible hand were helping, causing them to glide and tumble in peculiar but graceful patterns in slow-motion. This movement appears to mimic the swaying movements of the seaweed and kelp. Only close observation reveals movement of an eye or tiny fins.

Now that's knowledge to me! Hmm...only after living for more than 40 years do I know that such a species exist! LOL! *blush*

When Aiman and I had to leave for Kuala Lumpur on the evening of the 2nd of December, he was all tears as he did not want to leave his Abah behind. But, work is work, and I had to come back to Kuala Lumpur. *sigh* But, despite the tears, I think Aiman had a great time in Langkawi, and I had felt that it was also an opportunity for me to take a break from my hectic work schedule, despite having to jungle my schedule a bit to fit in a 2 day leave.