Monday, May 31, 2010

NNC May Stitching Bee 2010

We had our usual bi-monthly NNC Stitching Bee for the month of May on the 29th at Starbucks Bangsar Village II. This time, I managed to get there early as instead of dropping off Aiman at his Art Class which starts at 10.30am, and only able to join the ladies and Paul at about 10.45am, I brought Aiman with me to join the ladies and Paul first as Aiman had chosen to attend the engineering workshop that Saturday which only starts at 11.00am.

When I got there, almost everyone who should be attending was already there. There was Paul, Margaret and her sister Jackie; Janet, Radha, Rose, June and her daughter; Alynn and her son, daughter and hubby.

Everyone was in the midst of ordering drinks and breakfast which we managed to get a hefty 30% discount as June’s daughter is currently working with Starbucks during her current semester break. Thanks, June! Do say thanks to your daughter too!

After breakfast was done with, the first person to take out something to show, I believe, was Rose who showed off Diane’s lovely pincushion to her. I think Margaret’s going to go looking for that pincushion stand for her next pincushion project! *wink*

After the ooh and ahh on the pincushion made by Diane subsided, Alynn took out a blue plastic container which got us all going ooh and ahh again! LOL! It was the lovely blue pincushion in a cup made by Diane for Alynn, her partner for the exchange.

Many agreed that the pincushion cup looks a lot better in real life, and I am sure many wouldn’t mind getting something similar too. *grin*

Next, Radha brought out a huge box filled with all the lucky draw goodies that she got when she won the NNC Lucky Draw last year.

It was like opening up a treasure trove! I think many were in awe of all the lovely things inside the box.

Next, I took out my huge box containing Peggy’s huge and lovely blue pincushion from the recently concluded NNC Blue Theme Pincushion organised by Usha.

Again, everyone was in awe of the lovely pincushion, especially with all threads surrounding the pincushion!

June and Margaret even took off the glasses to scrutinize the making of the pincushion so that they too can go back to make a similar one! LOL! But, indeed it is a lovely pincushion that if I hadn’t received it from Peggy, I would be scrutinizing the pincushion myself to see how it was done. *grin*

Next was Janet who took out to show off two lovely Lizzie Kate pieces made into a mini pillow which she said she had received through an exchange at one of the LK Groups she’s in. It’s been a long times since I did any LK pieces, or any cross stitching for that matter that I was all envious looking at the lovely pieces Janet received.

Margaret brought along a Prairie Schooler piece which I also admired but can never find teh time to do one. *sigh* Seen here is Rose holding up the piece.

Jackie brought along a couple of bags to show off which got everyone excited admiring them.

She also brought a book on bags, which made me want to drop by Yee’s so that I can get that book too! LOL! We definitely are bad for each other. We tend to influence each other to spend lots on stash! LOL!

June brought some books on dress making and if I think that I have the time to make dresses, I think I would have dived my nose into the books, but, I know that I already have way too many things already on my plate, and, to add dress making to my long list of hobbies already might just drive my hubby up the wall, if not already! LOL!

I can’t remember who brought the Sew Hip magazine, but definitely I am going to get both the April and May 2010 issues after looking at all the lovely projects being featured in the magazine! LOL!

Paul gave Radha a very lovely purse which he made using fabrics from his shirts. I teased Radha that Paul had just given her a piece of him! LOL! *wink*

Margaret and I brought the left over door gifts from the NNC Anniversary Meet and we decided to do a lucky draw to see who gets what.

It was another round of excitement when we each took turns to draw our lucky number to see what we got. LOL!

It was a little past 12.00 noon when Zarina suddenly arrived. By then, the lucky Draw was already done with and so were most of the Show & Tell. I am very sorry, Zarina, I did not think that you were going to be coming since it was already close to 12.00 noon when we drew the lucky numbers.

Zarina did not waste time upon arriving and immediately sat down to show Margaret on how to do the mitred corner binding. Janet then did a demo on how to work around the curves when using the binding.

I think hardly anyone brought anything to work on this time around, though I did see Radha showing Paul how to do the hairpin lace. I had actually brought along my forever uncompleted crochet bag, but I never even took it out of the bag! LOL!

Although I did not feel like leaving just yet as I was really enjoying myself among like–minded people who shares the same passion as me, but I had to leave by 12.45 noon after picking up Aiman from his workshop as I needed to buy lunch as hubby was at home with a bad backache.

It was great meeting everyone. I think it was just what I needed after going through so many crisis at work lately. It was good being able to spend time with friends who share the same passion as me and who always show concern for my well-being. It was a great feeling. Thanks, everyone for coming to the Bee. A special thanks to Janet and Radha who came all the way from Perak and Kedah to join us for the Bee.

Thank you to Rose for my advance birthday present. She’s my birthday partner this year.

Thank you too to Janet and Margaret for the birthday pressies too. But, I was warned by headmistress Margaret not to open my presents until 8th of June. Oh dear! That’s another 9 days to go! You think I can wait? LOL! *wink*

Anyway, thanks again, everyone! I had a great time, and I hope so did everyone else who attended teh Bee this time around.

The next Bee might just be in Ipoh where Janet might be playing host! *wink* Can’t wait!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

God’s fate

About more than a month ago, I got a missed call from a friend. When I called her back to ask her why she had called me, she told me that she hadn’t but must have accidentally dialled my number. But, as it turned out like it was fated by God for me to know, since I was already on the phone, she decided to inform me that Nina, her only daughter who was my son’s former classmate (she changed school last year) was recently diagnosed with 3rd stage cancer of the bone. She is only 9 years old going on 10! I was shocked and for a while I did not know what to say to her as I was afraid that I might be saying the wrong things to her.

But, when I regained my composure, I asked about Nina and how she is holding up. My friend told me that Nina is feeling very down and unlucky. It was also tough for my friend, having to accept this shocking news and having to go through the trying times as Nina goes through all the medical procedures to try to prevent the cancer from spreading. I know my friend to be one very tough lady who has won many recognitions for her many success in the building industry. Here I am seeing a different side to her tough front. It was then that I told my hubby that we should pay my friend and Nina a visit.

So, on 15th May 2010, I arranged with a couple of friends whose children were also former classmates with Nina to visit together. It also happened that it was going to be Nina’s birthday the following weekend, so the mother decided to buy a small cake so that Nina will be able to celebrate her birthday early with friends.

We spent quite a number of hours there as the kids enjoyed playing together while we, the adults, chatted. As my friend told us how they first found out about the cancer, tears fell freely. It was understandable, considering what she had to go through. I saw a softer side to my friend who always seems so tough and strong.

We were told that since the chemo started some two months ago (Nina has gone through 4 chemo sessions already and need to go for 4more sessions), the growth has somewhat shrunk. It was good to know that Nina is on the way to recovery, hopefully, to fully recover from the cancer. We pray for her speedy recovery so that she can go back to a normal life (she has been taken out of school to enable her to undergo the chemo for the next one year).

Her mum told us after we left that Nina had a good time playing with her friends and wants us to come again. She so appreciates our coming over. It seems that she has never been this happy since she was diagnosed with the cancer. It was understandable, her being so young and not understanding what she has to go through. We are glad to be able to make Nina very happy. We hope to make another visit soon in between her chemo sessions.

It’s crisis like these that you see another side to a person, though it does not necessarily mean that it shows that the person is weak, but rather, a side that is only too human and that no matter how strong one is, there is always a softer and vulnerable side to a person.

We pray for Nina’s speedy recovery.

I’ve got the blues!! no! Not that kind of blues, but a pincushion kind of `blues’*grin*

NNC recently just concluded it’s Blue Theme Pincushion exchange, organised by Usha. Some had received theirs during the NNC Anniversary Meet in March.

My partner for this exchange is Peggy and Zai. I should be receiving from Peggy and I am to send off to Zai. The last mailing out date is this coming Monday, 31st May 2010.

I received mine from Peggy on Wednesday, 19th May, 2010 as I was about to leave for a meeting in the afternoon. So, not wanting to be late for the meeting, I packed it up to bring it home to unwrap it.

Excited as I was to unwrap the parcel, but it had to wait as I arrived home very late on Wednesday night from work, and I still had the dinner to get ready and also, I had to pack as I was leaving for Johor Bahru the next day after office for a project site meeting. I arrived home from Johor Bahru and Melaka past 11.00pm on Friday night. I finally managed to unwrap the parcel on Saturday morning.

I was in awe of what was in the big shoe box that arrived that Wednesday at my office.

Not only did it contain the blue pincushion, not to mention, a BIG one at that, but it also contained plenty of blue stash to get me all excited like a little girl opening up her birthday present! LOL!

Peggy sent me 3 pieces of blue fat quarters, a cute little container containing little blue buttons, 3 skeins of variegated blue threads and a note pad complete with blue pen and pencil!

I love everything she sent me, especially the huge pincushion, the biggest I have had so far! I wonder if I can make a another pincushion bigger than that, not that I want to! LOL!

I wonder if I will be losing many pins and needles inside this huge pincushion! LOL! *grin*

I just love the threads surrounding the pincushion, and they are not just any threads, but they are Coats and Clark, which are quite expensive here in Malaysia! Thank you so much, Peggy!

I tried pulling out the threads but realised that they are all interconnected. I wonder what happens when I have used up all the threads and want to replace them with new threads. Errrr........Do I have to take out everything and re-thread them with new elastics, Peggy?

Anyway, thank you again, Peggy! Hugs!

I will be uploading photos of the pincushion I made for Zai as soon as Zai receives it, which i hope will be in a few days time.

In the mean time, here's a link for a tutorial on how to make the lovely pincushion. Thanks for the link, Peggy!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Not what it used to be.....

When I first started blogging some 5 years ago, way back in January 2005, it was a way to release what’s boiling inside of me whenever I am in a crisis or when I needed to say something but I can’t say it anywhere else, but yet, I can still share it with friends and family far and near, as a way to release stress.

My blog was also a place for me to share with friends and family my passions for my crafts, my holidays and many other experiences of everyday life. It was also a way to make new friends who shares the passion for the same crafts that I do. I wanted it to be a journal which I can leave behind for my son to read in years to come.

I wrote at the heading of my blog.....The thoughts and feelings of Za about everyday life - because life is not just about work but everything else that makes the world go round - my work, my family, my hobbies, my friends, and things I want to say that cannot be said anywhere else......

BUT, now, writing here isn’t as ‘free’ as it used to be. I have to be more discerning as to what I want to write. Many more people are reading my blog, which I am very happy on one hand if they share the same thoughts and ideas with me, but apprehensive when they are people who are `spying’ and waiting to pounce on me at any time should I suddenly say the wrong things. These are people who might be an ''enemy'' to me.... and that can be dangerous......

It is no longer what it used to be....

Friday, May 07, 2010

Eating, shopping and more eating!

Heheh...seems like I am talking about food all the time in my last few postings, huh? LOL! I sure sound like as if I have been doing a lot of eating lately. LOL!

Anyway, last weekend, we wanted to do something a little different than the usual Saturday activities of taking Aiman to his usual Saturday classes. I have been wanting to do some shopping for the house and the office. I have been so busy with work that the house is showing signs of being neglected and my office is starting to reflect the stress that everyone is undergoing to get the daily work done on time. It is looking dull and boring, an ambience not conducive, especially when we want to get people happy to come to work despite being under daily stress.

So, last Saturday, 1st May, 2010, we decided to let Aiman skip his Saturday class this weekend *grin* so that we can get a head start on the activities that we had planned for Saturday.

We started the day by having breakfast at Puteri, a restaurant in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) owned by my hubby’s uncle who is married to actress Rubiah Suparman. We didn’t actually plan on having breakfast there, but, as we were driving around trying to decide where to eat, we remembered the restaurant as our plans to go shopping that Saturday was at Mutiara Damansara, a short drive from TTDI.

My hubby’s uncle, Ayah Tik, was around and so, we decided to have breakfast there. It was a good start to the day as all the food served was really delicious!

I had Lontong which was really really nice and yummy!

My hubby had Nasi Lemak, and it was also really nice that my hubby wanted seconds, but, unfortunately they had ran out of the rice.

My son enjoyed his Roti Telur so much that he asked for seconds and finished every single bit of it! LOL!

After breakfast we made our way to Tesco Mutiara Damansara. While my hubby went to the gym, my son and I went to do some shopping at Tesco. I also went to do some shopping at IKEA, which is just across the street from Tesco.

I bought quite a lot of things at IKEA, among which is this black chopping board and strainer which can be placed over the sink.

I also bought two stools, some fabric boxes, rugs and some shelving. I notice that each time I go to IKEA, I could never walk away without buying at least an item! LOL! Such is the attraction of IKEA! LOL!

For lunch, we decided on Secret Recipe as I have a craving for the lamb shank.

My hubby decided to have the mushroom chicken which was served with rice.

My son ordered the Fish and Chips, from the kiddie menu.

It was a day spent spending and I think I spent quite a lot that day at Tesco, IKEA, and for the lunch while my hubby paid for the breakfast. My hubby said that the country thanks me for spending as I had just contributed 5% to the economy of the country! LOL!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Definitely not a letdown!

My mum’s in town to see her 13th grandchild (wow! 13 already!) born to my brother, Ayis and his wife, Sufia, on 24th April 2010. She was here since the 22nd of April, the day of Aiman’s birthday, but we did not get to see her earlier as we had already made other plans by the time we got to know that my mum was going to be in town.

So, on Saturday, 24th April, we made plans to meet up with my mum for lunch along with my brother, Azan, who picked up my mum to take her to the hospital to see her new grandchild, Nik Fawzan Shafizy.

BTW, Ayis and Sufia, congrats on the birth of your 3rd child!

From the hospital, my mum and brother went to Subang Parade to do some shopping. So, we decided to meet them there for lunch.

We had initially wanted to go for sushi at Sushi King, but it was full. So, we decided on Nando’s.

It was a simple lunch, but i think it was a far more enjoyable one compared to the one I posted on earlier about the Indonesian restaurant at Sunway Mentari. Definitely there was no case of a dish not being available. *grin*

This time, my mum ordered the ¼ chicken which was served with 2 side dishes.

My son, Aiman, ordered the kiddie meal of 2 chicken pieces with smiley fries..

His cousin, Ayin,ordered the hot dog with rice.

My hubby ordered the chicken burger.

Here is what my brother, Azan, ordered - chicken on a skewer served with rice.

I had ordered this dish which I have forgotten what it is called, but it was served in an unusual way in that it was served vertically on a skewer hanging from an iron rod. It was served with corn on the cob and fries.

There was nothing unusual about the taste of the chicken on the skewer, but it was an interesting concept.

Needless to say, everyone enjoyed their lunch.

We parted ways after lunch as we wanted to visit my sister-in-law, Sufia and the new baby and my mum wanted to go home to my brother’s house.

Ma, we will make another lunch or dinner date when you come down to KL again next time. Hugs!

Monday, May 03, 2010

A dinner letdown

I made plans a week in advance to take my mum and brother Azan out to dinner last Friday to the Indonesian restaurant where we took my brother Azan out about 2 weeks ago. I thought that it would be a nice treat for my mum as 2 weeks ago, the four of us – my hubby and I, my son and brother quite enjoyed the meal there, it being a little different from the places that we would usually go out for dinner.

My niece joined the dinner.

The dinner, however, unfortunately, turned out to be quite a disappointment for my mum. I think everything started going downhill when my brother overslept (trust my brother to oversleep! LOL! *grin*) and instead of picking up my mum very much earlier to bring her to meet us at the restaurant, he only arrived at my brother’s place at close to 8.30pm. By the time we all got to the restaurant, it was already close to 9.00pm and everyone was already very hungry and everyone’s moods were basically not upbeat anymore, and the attitude of the waitress and the cook of the restaurant just added salt to the wound.

After travelling all the way from Bukit Subang, a 20 minutes drive to the restaurant, and having to wait for my brother to pick her up for almost 2 hours, I can understand that my mum had very high expectations of the food. But, the first sign of problems started when most of the items we wanted to order were not available.

When we finally made up our minds on what to order, they got our orders all wrong and never even bothered to tell us about it. My niece, Kuya, had ordered fried Ikan Keli Sambal, but she was served Ikan Kerapu instead. Only when we inquired did they tell us that they have run out of Ikan Keli.

Couldn’t they have told us earlier that they were out of Ikan Keli instead of serving it up with the assumption that it will be okay with us? We could have wanted another dish instead, but, not wanting to kick up a fuss, my niece accepted the Ikan Kerapu dish as she too was getting to be very hungry.

The cook and the waitress put up a show of drama accusing each other for failing to let us know that they had run out of the Ikan Keli. Like as if it they did no wrong! They never even apologised for their mistakes.

My mum had ordered Avocado Juice earlier on, but, only after many minutes had passed by only did the waitress came back to tell us that they had also ran out of the avocado. In fact, many of the dishes listed on the menu were not available. I wondered why they even bother to have it on the menu in the first place. Just for show, is it?

The next problem came soon after that when, after waiting for almost one hour for my food, they came to tell me that the dish I had ordered was not available as they have ran out of lemon. I had ordered Lemon Chicken. Did it take them one whole hour to realised that they had ran out of lemon? Surely they would have known much earlier that they were running out of lemon if there were many orders for the Lemon Chicken, but the restaurant was hardly even a third full. Uurrghhh! I felt like screaming at them!!!!!

Again, they put up a show of arguing between the waitress and the cook when the cook accused the waitress for not letting us know earlier when she had already informed the waitress that they had already ran out of lemon when the order was put to the kitchen. That really got me really angry, and I almost felt like just walking out of the restaurant, but, as I was not eating alone, and I was feeling really hungry, I just told them to bring the same thing my niece ordered – Buttered Chicken with rice.

Did they apologise for their failure to let us know about the shortage of the lemon? You can bet the answer is a big NO! Uurrgghhh!

When the Buttered Chicken Rice finally arrived some 20 minutes later, I had already lost most of my appetite. I couldn’t even finished half of it. Luckily my brother was around to clean the plate for me. *grin*

My hubby had Ayam Penyet which was nothing to shout about but, as he was hungry, he ate silently.

I think the only person who quite enjoyed his food was my brother who had Bakmi Chicken served in the cracker plate with a bowl of soup.

When it was time to pay, we insisted that they give us a discount for two reasons – that they had failed to let us know well in advance that they did not have what we ordered, and that they failed to admit their mistake and apologize to us. Even after we told them nice that a restaurant of such nature should train their staff to have a little bit more of soft skill, the apologies were never forthcoming.

They first gave us a 5% discount, but after we kicked up quite a fuss, telling them that they will be losing more customers if they go on handling their customers like this, they gave us a 10% discount We paid, but not before telling them that this will be the last time that we will be dining there.

Very sorry, Ma, for the lousy evening. I hope the dessert at Benta Kaya Kuala Lipis made up a little bit for the terrible food and service at Baso. Maybe the next time you come down to KL again, we will take you out to a better restaurant to make up for that night. I also hope that at least the lunch a week earlier at Nando’s had been an enjoyable lunch. I will blog about that in a later posting.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A pouch and biscornu for Diane

After completing the bag and pouch for Diane, I decided to do something extra for Diane in colours to match both the items, or rather, in colours that I know are her favourite - brown, blue and green. I decided to make her a biscornu and a pouch using Em, which lately, I have neglected to use as I have been so busy with work and making bags.

A very simple biscornu and pouch, but I hope that Diane will find both items useful and handy to use.

Another tiring day of travelling

It’s another day of travelling on 28th April 2010, this time to Kuala Terengganu. I took the 8.40am flight out of Kuala Lumpur, and was confirmed on the 9.10pm flight back. I had wanted to take the 4.10pm flight back, but, unfortunately, it was fully booked. Despite putting myself on the waiting list since the day before, I still could not get a seat on the 4.10pm. So, instead of loitering around aimlessly at the airport, I came prepared with a laptop, and a change of clothes to while away the long waiting time for the 9.10pm flight. I checked into Dara Inn, a resort within walking distance to the beach, and a 5 minutes drive from the airport.

It is a quaint little inn, with a TV that is to barely able to receive clear reception even on TV1 & 2, and TV3.

But I switched it on anyway just to have some sounds playing in the room. Even though the room was comfortable, but the air-conditioning in the room was not functioning properly, as despite having it on since I checked in at 4.00pm, the room still wasn’t cold even at 6.00pm.

I took a 30 minutes nap after taking a much needed bath as I was bathing sweat earlier on when I climbed into the roof area of the airport building to inspect. When I woke up, I was feeling hungry. So, I decided to take a walk to the beach to buy some snacks, and I came back with these delicious spread of crispy fried squids, prawns and fish.

Yummy! It was finger lickin’ good! *grin*

The rest of the time after that was spent going online and checking my emails. I took the 9.10pm as scheduled and arrived home almost close to midnight. Another tiring day of travelling for work.