Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One for the table!

Last weekend was another weekend where my plans did not actually work out, but, the difference this time around is that, it turned out for the better, and I have to thank my hubby for that! *smile* I had initially planned to work on my DT SGB.

As my car needed to be serviced since it was long overdue, my hubby was so kind to offer to send Aiman to his enginering and animation class while my car is being serviced at the workshop. In the mean time, he told me to go for my sewing class at SAKURA as it is quite near to the workshop. Isn't that so sweet of my hubby? I love him! Thanks, Dia! Hugs!

So, after sending the car to the workshop and breakfast, my hubby dropped me off at SAKURA. He will be picking me up at around 2.30pm, after Aiman's class is over! Wow! 4 hours of sewing! Isn't that great? LOL! In the mean time, my hubby went off to the gym, after dropping off Aiman at his class. A day of classes for us! *grin*

I had bought the placemat kit when I came in to finish off my chenille bag the week before, not without actually knowng when I was coming in to do it. But, I am glad that I had bought the kit in advance, and thus, I could already make up my mind what I wanted to make when my hubby suggested that I go in for a sewing class.

I wondered why May called it a placemat, because it was more of a table runner to me. The way I understand it, placemats are meant to be individual pieces for you to place your plates and cups/mugs/glasses on it, for meals. Table runners run the length of your table. *shrug*

Anyway, regardless of the correct term, I managed to do quite a lot in the 4 hours I was at SAKURA, but, even then, that wasn't enough, as I did not manage to finish the top in time for Kelvin to teach me the free motion quilting when my hubby came to pick me up for a late lunch. Heheh...4 hours is still not enough when you are enjoying yourself, and there is a lot to do! LOL!

Kelvin isn't going to be around this weekend as he will be in Penang participating in an Arts and Craft Exhibition at Queensbay Mall from 27th February to 2nd march 2008. May could not teach me free motion quilting as she claims that she is not yet an expert in it. She said that it will take years to perfect the free motion quilting to the level of Kelvin. But, I have to start somewhere, right?

May suggested that I just do a normal straight line diagonal quilting, which I wasn't too keen initially, because one of the reasons why I wanted to learn the placemat was because the model was finished off with free motion quilting. I thought that this would be a good opportunity for me to learn the skill from the sifu!

Alas, it was not meant to be, as May also said that it wasn't wise of me to practice the free motion quilting on such a nice piece of project. She said that I should do a project test piece first until I could perfect it. *sigh* I finally relented, after giving it much thought and looking at how much work I had already put into it, and in case, with my inexperience, I might just spoil the piece. It is, afterall, a very nice piece! *wink* Take a look! Wouldn't you agree with me? LOL! *grin*

I came home to work on it almost all day on Sunday and finished it after dinner, as I had to take many breaks to do the household chores. I also had a scare when my hubby called to say that he couldn't find his car after picking up Aiman at his friend's birthday party at Petro Sains KLCC. For a while, I abandoned my project and went to do my prayers to calm my nerves. The security at KLCC finally found it after close to an hour of searching. My hubby had gotten the location mixed up. You know how big the parking area is at KLCC, right? Thank God all is well. Phew!

Anyway, back to my placemat/table runner project, second photo above is the back part of the piece and immediate photo above is a close up. The center piece was quilted diagonally, while the border piece was quilted in a wavy motion using the walking foot. Alas, it cannot be seen that clearly in the photo. An even closer close up of the tea cup and saucer (below) will show you the buttonhole stitch which, I must say, with the BERNINA, it made my buttonhole stitches look so nice and almost perfect! *wink* Can you see it from the photo? Nice, huh? *wink*

If ever I do buy the BERNINA, it is beacuse of the buttonhole stitch function, among many others, of course! *wink* I managed to work my buttonhole stitch so nicely, with a few flaws, of course, *wink* being a beginner using a machine to applique using buttonhole stitches. I could have done the buttonhole stitch by hand, but, with the amount of applique work, it wud take me ages!

This is also a first for me doing applique this way, and also a first for me using the fusible web. I am learning something new all the time, and it feels great! You never stop learning, no matter how old you are! *grin*

I really enjoyed doing this piece. I am thinking of buying the same fabric and making 6 matching placemats. Now I only need to find the time to do SIX placemats! LOL!

So, what's my next project? I am not sure at the moment. SAKURA teaches teddy bear making using cotton fabric, but, currently I am not that keen, since I want to make something I can make use of, instead of just something I can hug.

Any suggestions, anyone?

How time flies!

Has it been really that long since I last posted here? I thought that it was only last week that I posted.......

I have been busy......real busy! Errr..has there been a time when I am not busy? LOL! *wink* But, last week, I was extra busy at work because I had back to back meetings almost everyday, and to add to that, last week we had an Architect's Dinner, and I was responsible to `dress' up the hall to compliment the theme for the dinner which is ARKITROPIK.

I am glad I had a very good and hardworking committee members who worked very hard every day to make up the decorations and to eventually decorate the hall to turn it into an almost tropical architectural jungle. They stayed up till midnite everyday since Tuesday (the dinner was on Friday night) to get the things ready, as they could only work to do the decorations and to decorate the hall after office hours.

I am very proud of them and grateful for all their help and commitments! They were great!

Apart from that, craft wise, I had planned on working on my DT SGB over the weekend, as I had not worked on it at all during the week, but, I never got down to doing it because I had another distraction *wink* - I went for my placemat class at SAKURA!

I will tell more about it in my next posting as I hope to be able to take some photos of the placemat, and I can only do that on the weekend, when the light is better. On weekdays, I come home to a sunset scene, if not already a night scene, everyday. *grin* Such is my life! LOL!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's finished! It's finished! It's finished!

heheh......sorry, could not help jumping for joy. *grin*

Yeap, I completed my chenille bag today. It wasn't planned actually that I would be completing my chenille bag today. It's Saturday, and usually I would be stitching or going online at Starbucks as I wait for Aiman to finish his art class or engineering workshop, but, on Thursday evening, we got an email from Aiman's school to say that there will be a replacemnet class this Saturday to replace the extra days the school closed for Chinese New Year.

We had planned on an all day outing today since Aiman wanted to watch the Lion Dance at Bangsar Village in the evening. But, as Aiman had school in the morning, and we had a lunch invitation from an aunt who is treating a cousin who's back from Berlin for the holidays, I made a quick phone call to May asking if I could come in in the morning to finish my chenille bag. Luckily there were only two other ladies coming in to do their single size quilts for their children.

I got there at slightly past 10.00am, and completed the bag at 12.00noon! Just perfect timing! I could actually have gotten it done sooner, but May's attention was divided today with the other two ladies who needed her attention more to get their quilt going.

What do you think of the bag? Nice, huh? *wink*

I love the japanese fabric. I did not brush the front that much because I wanted to be able to see the flowers on the fabric. May says that it could be brushed further for a more fluffier look, but I wasn't too keen on that kind of effect. I think I am already happy with the way it looks. Maybe Janet might like hers fluffier to be able to see all seven layers underneath.

Here is the inside of the bag. Rather simple with just a pocket. The pocket was put in just before I stitched the inside of the back to the main body. This bag was mostly handstitched together, so it's really fine work involved. I just hope the bag will last.

Since the bag has no zipper, I can't make it into a handbag, unless I put in another bag in it. It's gonna have to be a bag to carry my small projects around. Rather a very sophisticated craft bag, don't you think? *wink*

I have also signed up for another class - a placemat. I actually have a basic idea of how to make a placemat, I have made one before, but I wanted to take up this class because I want to learn how to do free motion quilting 'Kelvin style'. I have learnt free motion quilting `Gill style' earlier (oops! I have yet to finish that piece! *blush*), and now I want to learn the way Kelvin does it.

He did all the quilting for the placemat model at the class and it's really lovely. May tells me that to get to that level of expertise would take me years, and I would have to have the right quilting machine. I told her, I just want to learn the basic, and if I can do just half as nice as Kelvin's, I am one very happy lady already. *grin*

BTW, here's a peak into what I am doing for the NNC Lottery currently being organised by BJ at NNC. *wink* Can you make out what it is going to be? *grin*

On another stitching project, I have now reached the bottom part of the Drawn Thread Sampler Game Board. It gives a certain sence of achievement to have arrived there, although it will take some time still before this piece will be completed. I have yet to stitch the many motifs in between the mini houses. I'll get there, slowly, but surely. I just hope that many more of my friends are stitching this piece with me. That way, I will be more motivated to get it done sooner.

Currently they are busy SAL-ing the EMS Rose Sampler and the How Does Your Garden Grow piece, so I am left alone. *sigh*

I wanted to join them for the Rose Sampler, but I can't seem to find the time just yet. I also need to get some of the exchanges out of the way first before I start venturing into any other new projects for now.

Missing AC and Kieran.....

heheh..like as if I miss an old friend, but actually they are like old friends! *wink*

Anyway, which station do you tune to on your way to work each day?

Except on a few occassions, Radio ERA has always been my constant companion on my drive to work each day, and since I started listening to ERA some years back, it has never failed to put a smile on my face, and give me a great feeling to kick start a hectic day at work.

I would sometimes find myself smiling or laughing like as if I am a mad person if the car next to me were to catch me at that particular time as I drive alone to work after dropping off my son at school. LOL!

I wrote in my blog some time back in July 2007 how I love listening to KnK (Khairil & Kieran) as they banter and poke fun at each other and the callers who calls in with their problems and dilemmas, in their effort to lighten the `burden' of the listeners and callers, so that you can enjoy your day as you unload your problems to them.

I said then too that KnK were a good combination; they were good together. Radio ERA had paired so many DJs together, but, so far, no pair has been able to make such an impact and impression together as good as KnK. The morning program 'hosted' by them was able to attract so many listeners, making them the most listened to radio program in the country. Unfortunately, in July 2007, ERA decided to unpair them, for whatever reason, it was never made known.

I asked then if the unpairing of them would affect Radio ERA as the number one radio station in Malaysia, as Kieran was being joined by Hani Yasmin Richardson and AC Mizal in the wee hours of the morning.

It took some getting use to listening to the 3, but since AC Mizal and Hani were already TV personalies and celebrities with their own followers, Radio ERA retained its top position. I, too was begining to enjoy my morning drive again as I listen to AC Mizal and Kieran playfully bullying Hani each morning. AC Mizal is talented and is always full of humour, and Kieran, as usual, is fun to listen to as he playfully makes light of even the biggest of problems, but, alas, again, good things don't always last.....

After six months with Radio ERA, Hani decided to call it quits, quoting health problems related to waking up too early each morning to get ready for work. Radio ERA launched a nationwide search for a replacement for Hani. They still have yet to get one, promising to announce the winning DJ next week.

As if not enough that Hani called it quits, we now hear that AC Mizal is leaving ERA in preparation for the upcoming Akademi Fantasia Season 6, which he has been rumoured to be taking over from Aznil as the host together with Sarimah Ibrahim. Just a few days ago, I read in the Malay Mail that even Kieran is said to be leaving for Hot.fm, the second most listened to radio station in the country. If this is true, than that would be sad for loyal listeners like me........

As Radio ERA searches for a replacement for Hani, the morning program has never been the same as AC took leave when his wife delivered, and there were a few days (more like a week!) that Kieran disappeared. I started to tune in to other radio stations when Nana and Ray came on air. In my opinion, they were uncreative in their presentation, even boring to some extent.

I began to miss Kieran and AC; Kieran especially. Each morning, whenever I switch on the radio, I would hope to hear AC and Kieran on air, and when it's someone else that I hear, I would quickly tune in to other stations, although I yet to tune in to one particular station in the morning, switching back and forth till I find a song I like listening to. At times, I would just listen to Anuar Zain on my cassette player. Yeah, my car was not equipped with a CD player! LOL!

This week Kieran is back and he has manged to put a smile again on my face as I drive to work, but, with 4 people on air at the same time, I think it is getting too noisy. As it has been rumoured, Adi has joined the morning programme, than it must be true that Kieran will be leaving Radio ERA, although he has denied it when a listener called in to ask the truth about the rumour. Maybe it is just a strategy by ERA to put 4 people on air this week, so that listeners will get used to Adi, Nana, and Hani's replacement, as Kieran takes his leave to move on to Hot.fm.

Although I enjoy listening to Adi as he banters with Kieran, I still don't enjoy listening to Nana nor Wana, the final candidate to replace Hani. I wish ERA would retain Nana for the night programme, accompanying Jimmy.

Although I have nothing against Nana per say, I still think that she's not the one to host the morning program. You need someone who can make you smile and laugh as you drive to work in the morning as a good start to the day, and she hasn't proven that she has got that talent to do so.

If it is true that Kieran will be leaving for Hot.fm, I think I will be tuning in to Hot.fm when that happens, only I hear that he will only be hosting the night program, and not the morning drive to work program.

I will have to start tuning in to LITE FM again, as I did before I started tuning in to Radio ERA some years back. It's back to listening to Richard and Caroline each morning for me then. ERA has lost another listener, and I think I am not alone......

If ERA wants to retain its number ONE postion again, it had better do something fast!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I shall go on dreaming.......

The first time my Sister-in-law, Eli, who is in the US, first mentioned that the JoAnn store is just a bus ride from where she is staying, I got all excited and breathless reading her email! LOL!

Now, with my SIL's recent posting at her photoblog, I am all excited and breathless again looking at all the photos she posted of the inside of the shop filled to the brim with all those great crafting stash! I wish I was there now with her! I know I would get so excited and probably pinching myself again and again to make sure that I wasn't just dreaming. But, alas, for now, I REALLY AM ...... JUST DREAMING ....... *sigh* LOL! *wink* Someday....... that day will come........

Thanks, Eli, for giving me a tour of the inside of JoAnn, and yes, you are right, I would simply be lost in JoAnn as I walk aisle by aisle with eyes of excitement, looking at all those wonderful craft items! *grin*

I have mentioned before in my earlier posting that JoAnn is one of the many stores I frequent online which I had wished would ship overseas. That way, I could do all my shopping for all the crafts that I am into (which is many! LOL!) in just one online shop, and not have to pay for several shipping charges.

I have always dreamt to someday have a craft shop of my own. If ever I do open one, I would want to go by the same concept of SPOTLIGHT in Singapore, and JoAnn, where all your craft needs are all under one roof. That would be so great!

Maybe I could gather all my stitching and crafting friends and we could open up a shop together? Then, if that is so, who will be our buyers? *grin* We might just end up buying from each other! I would then be my own best customer! LOL! Than, that would be dangerous for the business! LOL!

Well, one thing for sure, I know that my hubby is very supportive of my dream to someday have my own craft shop, so that in itself, is a motivation not to give up on the dream. Thanks, hubby! Love you! Muaahh! *blush*

But, for now, I shall go on dreaming....... *wink*

WIP, stashing and indecisions

I did not get much of a weekend last week despite it being a holiday in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 1st February as I had to go to work to settle matters with regards to my project which is nearing completion, but still has a lot more that needs to be done.

On Sunday, I was in Kuala Terengganu
to oversee a project I have been very much involved in since day one. The Thursday before that, I flew back to Kota Bharu to see my mum who was down with dengue, but is now recovering very well.

I did not get much of a rest since coming back from Terengganu on Tuesday morning as I had to rush to the office to chair a meeting in the afternoon. My flu got so bad from all the stress that my nose was practically running like tap water.

I am so looking forward to this weekend for a much needed rest to recover, especially since I will be working again next weekend. I also want try to put in some stitching into my DT SGB, and start a little on the BD exchange.

I look forward to spending some time with my hubby and son, even if it is just to sit down together to watch TV. I missed that last weekend. I need to make up for lost times.

This morning, my hubby has gone to the gym while my son is at my in-laws for his Al-Qur'an class, giving me some time to do my own things until late morning. Now that the breakfast things have cleared away and the clothes have been put out to dry, it is now time for "ME TIME". Now, what shall I do first?

I want to do so many things, I don't know where to start! LOL!

OK, let's start with the progress report on my Drawn Thread Sampler Game Board. I have started on the alphabet borders, deciding to use Caron Callection's Wildflowers 051 Abalone, in replace of the DMC threads called for, so that, I needn't have to change my threads ever so often, but still get the same effect as in the original design.

I have also replaced the border frame colour by using Aniza's Dip & Twist DNT 059, and I like the way the colours change subtly. Just the right effect that I want!

Moving on, yup, I stashed again! *grin* Jean is having a liquidation sale at Needle Litte Love, and I could not resist the temptations to get some of the charts that I have been eyeing for some time.

Yup, I have been bitten by the Country Cottage Needleworks and Little House Needleworks bug! *grin* I ordered 6 of their charts, but Jean was out of stock of two of them, but, still, I am happy with my purchases. Now to find the time to stitch them all! LOL!

Over at NNC, some members are currently involved in the Rose Sampler Stitch-Along that is currently being organised at the EMS website. It's a beautiful piece, and though I initially said that I don't want to start on anything new until I get done at least half of my commited exchanges, I could not resist the temptations to stitch this lovely piece.

So, this weekend, I hope to at least put in a couple of stitches, though I won't be able to catch up with those who have started stitching on it since last month. However, at the moment, I am a little indecisive as to whether I should stitch this piece on antique white or rose pink, this being a ROSE SAMPLER.

I thought a rose coloured fabric would be more appropriate for this piece, but I couldn't be certain for sure. I need some opinions. I am putting both pieces together with the thread colour that I intend to use, which is DMC 777, 318 and 415. Could anyone advice?

The photo is the best that I could do with my old camera, but it is quite close to the actual colour. Do post some comments, so that I can make up my mind. Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

When ignorance is bliss......

How or where do I begin to tell or put in words how am I feeling right now.....

I am mad, furious, frustrated, disappointed, and most of all, sad...... Sad that it has come to this......

I wrote sometime back how I was having problmes with the project manager for one of my prestigious projects I am currently doing. For a while, I thought that we could be friends and work well together, but alas, it was not meant to be. It seems that he always seems to want to make an enemy out of me, when we should actually be working as a team. He is forever looking to point out my mistakes (like as if he is an angel), or simply jump in joy whenever I fumble on my decisons.

He loves making me feel small by making decisions that would overide my earlier decisions, giving him the upper hand to humiliate me in front of the other members of the meeting, even though his decisions could actually be detrimental to the project. Ignorance is bliss. What you don't know won't hurt you. He makes decisions with such pride in his voice, like as if he is the smartest man on earth. Even when I advised him that to make such a decison could be detrimental, he says that he has made a decison, and that is that, and it is final. *sigh*

His letters and email to me are mostly littered with hostility, like as if I am always the wrong one, and he is forever right. He is forever accusing me of this and that, blaming me for any delays in the project, saying that I am taking too long to make some decisons or that I am late in responding to queries, when in actual fact, he is actually the one at fault when he failed to thoroughly go through the drawings and the contract documents to get the information required to proceed with the works.

The site office is supplied with every imaginable detail drawings to make it easy for the people on site to refer to when a certain detail is to be constructed, so that, in the event that I or my architect could not be around to verify the construction of architectural details, the drawings can be used as a guide and reference.

The specifications are written in straight forward technical terms that it would be impossible for someone of his position not to understand the language, unless, of course, he is simply duh of the process of constructing a building. But, does he refers to the drawings and the documents? No, he would rather accuse me of failing to supply him with the necessary information because it was not spoon fed to him.

If it does not come to him on a silver platter in front of him, it means that the information was never supplied to his office. He never bothers to find out first from his men as to whether the drawings or documents needed were already supplied or not earlier when the project first kicked off. If it's not in front of him in his big cosy room, than that means I have delayed in sending it to him, and therefore I am to be blamed for any delays.

He blames me for making the wrong choice of floor finishes when a VIP commented that the floor looks dull, dirty and uninteresting. In actual fact, it was his failure to insist or instruct the main contractor to protect the floor after it was laid, causing it to be scratched to the core by heavy equipment being dragged across it, or dropped on it from other contruction work still being carried out, that caused the protective layer of the tiles to wear off and dull the tiles. Too much dirt has gone deep into it that it would take a lot of scrubbing and polishing to get it back to its original lustre.

The tiles I had chosen was of the highest quality in the highest range of that particular brand. Any tiles that had to go through such abuse would not survive without a scratch, what more when cements and sand are constantly being poured on it, and mixed with water to a workable consistency for contruction. No, it was my choice of tiles that was wrong, not his lack of management of the site. *sigh*

I sacrifice my Sundays to be with my son and hubby every other week because he sets his meetings early Monday morning. I have to go there a day earlier, on Sunday, so that I can go around the site first before the meeting so that I know what is happening and how much has progressed, and so that I am aware should the contractor not do the architectural details correctly or not in accordance to the drawings (this can actually be done by the people on site [verification of construction], but they don't know what they have to do, because the boss does not give gives them any direction to follow *sigh*).

For many projects I have done before this, it is the responsibility of the site people to ensure that the contractor follows the drawings and specifications already supplied. It is only when there is a discripancy that an architect is called in resolve matters. Other than that, I would usually visit the project site only once a month.

But, for this project, I am at site every other week, starting from Sunday, and I would stay until Tuesday to resolve issues. I do not mind making the sacrifice, and I am thankful that my hubby is understanding. I am happy go to the site for the sake of the project, and I just want to see this project to completion, but it hurts and frustrates me when the project manager blames me for all his ignorance and lack of knowledge of the process of building construction. He doesn't know what he doesn't know, but acts like he knows everything. Ignorance is bliss.......

I will survive this. This is a challenge which I will have to face, and I hope that I will come out stronger.......

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Where is Sharlinie?

It's been more than 3 weeks already since this 4 year old girl has gone missing while playing at a nearby playground to her home with her sister.

She turned 5 on 21st January recently and it tugged at my heart strings to see her parents crying out for her with birthday presents for her, things she had asked for just prior to going missing, begging for her abductors to return her safely to her family who misses her so much.

Please help find her. If you see someone that looks like her anywhere in your neighbourhood, and at shopping complexes, or simply anywhere, get in touch with her parents at the number listed above, or inform the nearest police station.

I pray that she will soon be safely reunited with her family, still alive. I hope it will not be another Nurin case. That would be so sad. So, let us all help find her, and always do look out for our own kids. The world is not as safe a place as it used to be when we used to be able to walk alone without having fear of anything bad happening to us or to members of our family.

I pray that God will always keep us save and protect us from any untoward incidents.