Friday, March 25, 2011

NNC 4th Anniversary Meet

After months of planning and organising, the day for NNC 4th Anniversary Meet finally arrived. It was set to be held on the 19th of March, and Rose had graciously offered her huge and lovely house in Shah Alam for the Meet.

I arrived early that day, but not before I had a harrowing experience on my way to Rose’ house. I sort of got lost and wanted to stop by the roadside to check the google map which I had printed out earlier. I couldn’t find a proper place by the roadside to stop as there were many cars racing by, so I took a fork going into a construction site.

I did not realised that the road was so narrow until I got onto the road, and as there was a car following closely behind me, I decided to go onto the curb to let him pass so that I may take my time to consult my google map.

I had no problem getting onto the curb, but as I was trying to drive off from the curd, my right tyres suddenly went into a deep crack in the road and tilted the car to almost 30 degrees. My heart suddenly beat a thousand times faster. I could almost imagine the car tilting completely if I were to drive further forward, and so decided to reverse the car.

But, what happened next got my heart beating a million times faster as the car tilted even further to almost 40 to maybe 50 degrees. I looked back at the rear view mirror for any signs of a kindly stranger who might be able to help me in case my car totally tilts to the side, and saw some construction workers.

I am not sure if I felt relief or not, but my heart was beating so fast, I thought I could almost hear it beat. I prayed hard and hit on the gas pedal. The car tilted further, but then all of a suddenly, it tilted back flat on the road as my tyres moved out of the crack on the road. I heaved a HUGE sigh of relief and thank God for answering my prayers and keeping me calm, albeit my heart racing a million times.

My nerves were still very much on edge when I got to Rose’ house, but managed to stay calm as there were lots of things to do.

I unloaded everything from my car and sat down to sort out the door gifts. As I was busy sorting out the door gifts, Margaret arrived with Jackie, Veronica, Mel and Janet.

As Margaret, and Mel set to work getting things organised in the living room and the patio where the food will be, Janet made Ipoh White coffee (I never got to taste the lovely white coffee as I was too busy packing up the goodie bags though) which she had brought along, while Veronica and Jackie helped me sort out the door gifts.

Many contributed to the kids’ goodie bag that I think it would have been fun to be a kid again! LOL!

 Many too contributed to the members’ goodie bag. There were so many lovely things, many handmade, which got everyone going ooh and aaahh as we went through the items contributed.

This was my contribution to the goodie bags, all handmade, and embroidered by Em, my faithful embroidery machine.

A big thank you to all who had contributed to both the kids’ goodie bags and the members’ goodie bags.

Other members started arriving at about 12.00noon.

We set up a corner for the sale of things that will go towards the Postage Fund.

Mel brought a lot of things which got many excited. I think Mel’s craft always has a way of getting everyone excited – without fail! LOL!

Her yummy and lovely cupcakes and cheesecake got everyone excited too. It was the center of attraction. *grin*

Alas, I just realised that I never got to taste it. I guess the harrowing experience earlier and the fall (yup! I fell) I had during the run of the meet somehow got me a little ‘dizzy’.

I slipped on the wet floor of the patio due to the rain and hit the chair by the door and pulled a muscle in the process. I woke up the next morning with a painful bottom and a backache.

As in previous years, there were lots of foods.

The Fried Beehoon (top left) is really delicious, and I just
love the patty on the top right hand corner. Yum!
Rose (left) and Radha
Nasi Lemak (left) and curry puffs
Those who were already there by 1.00pm started lunch first and chatted away while we waited for the others to turn up.

Top left: Jackie, Margaret, Sally, and Usha's two daughters

In the mean time, we also set up an area using the pool table for those with a craft business to set up stall, and Sally came loaded with so many cute owls and handbag handles.

From left: Aina (Sabariah's daughter), Sally, Jackie
I got my very cute pink owls which I had ordered earlier at the Etsy Craft Market,

I also finally decided to get some handbag handles in red, brown and, you guessed it, pink! Told you I couldn't resist it! LOL!

Zarina also brought along her HDT threads to sell and I think she made quite a sale.

From left: Sabariah, Zarina, Paul

From the Postage Fund Stall, we managed to collect RM164.00! It exceeded our target of RM120.00!

Thank you, everyone, for buying from the stall, and thank you, Sally for contributing 10% of your sales for that day to the Postage Fund.

I think it was a very idea to have the members bring stash they feel they no longer need or want and sell them off for a good cause.

At precisely 2.00pm, we got the hardanger demo started.

I had taken two weeks to prepare for the demo, doing up step by step samples so that I may properly teach or shall I say guide, those interested to give hardanger a go. I had used a freebie chart from the Krenik website by Patricia Andrle available on the internet for the demo.

I had allocated 1 hour for the demo, but I have this one impatient student *grin* , she knows who she is....LOL!....and kept pestering me to speed up and just get right to the step where you have to do the cutting. LOL!

From left: Sabariah, me, Radha, Janet
Then I just realised why she is so impatient. *grin* She’s a teacher herself, and, like my late dad, who was also a lecturer, they tend to get very impatient with people who is slow and ‘crawls’ at trying understand what’s being taught, but, this time in reverse.

I must seem like a very slow teacher to her. LOL! *grin* Right, Teacher SMZ? *wink* She even tested me to see if I could answer her question. LOL! *grin* Very funny!

So, how did I fare, Teacher SMZ? LOL! *wink*

I am afraid, being architecturally trained, and taught to be very detailed in how we do things, I have the need to make sure that things are done in detail and step by step. That must have really annoyed her! LOL! *grin* 

Seen here everyone paying close attention when I was
doing the cutting. I think no one even breathed! LOL!
Anyway, with the hardanger demo out of the way, the next thing was the drawing of the prize for the gifts graciously put up by Lillie and Jo.

Veronica drew Jo’s gift of a lovely handmade bag.

Tini drew one of the gifts from Lillie which was packed with plenty of goodies, one of which is this lovely hat pincushion which I have been wanting to learn how to make for the longest time!

Seen here Sabariah 'sulking' because she didn't
win the lovely pincushion *grin*
Will you teach me, Lillie?

BTW, Lillie, you were sorely missed at the Meet. I hope that one day you would be able to join us for the Stitching Bee at least. Thanks for the gifts you contributed for the Lucky Draw.

The other gift was drawn by Usha which was also packed with plenty of goodies.

Next was the prize giving for the Posting Prize to members who had posted the 1st and 30th message on the 30th of October 2010 to coincide with the formation of NNC on the 30th of October 4 years ago.

The prizes were worn by Janet for the 1st posting, and Zarina, for the 30th posting.

Congrats, Janet and Zarina!

Here’s what’s inside the posting prize box.

I made a Needlebook which depicts NNC 4th Anniversary celebration

I also made a paper clip using a clothes peg with the clipart printed off my humble HP printer.

Next up was the opening of the Hostess Gift. It wasn’t compulsory for anyone to make a Hostess Gift, but some of us feel that we should appreciate Rose for graciously opening up her lovely home to host the Meet . I just hope her hubby didn’t regret offering up their house to host the Meet as we realy did make so much noise as we squealed in excitement at every gift that was revealed, almost bringing down the roof of the house! LOL!

Rose, please thank your hubby too for being patient with all our screaming! LOL!

Here's are the lovely Hostess Gifts Rose received.

This is the one I made for her.

A close-up of the back and front of the scissor case.

The next event was the highlight and the most anticipated of the Meet which got everyone squealing in excitement from start to end. LOL! It was the drawing of the Anniversary Gift Exchange to see who gets what from whom. *grin*

This year, Mel was put in charge of the Anniversary Gift Exchange and she brought along a whole box of Ferero Rocher (Jo kept saying that all these chocolates is making her fat! LOL!).

I had 2 pieces as I drew on behalf of Carla, and one for myself. Carla just gave me a stern lecture for eating up her share of the Ferero Rocher! LOL! *wink*

Underneath each one of them are the names of all those who joined in the gift exchange. Mel would call out your name in alphabetical order and you are to pick a Fererro Rocher with the name of the member who will get your gift. For a while at the start of the drawing, everyone got confused! LOL! Finally, we agreed that we should just let Mel do the thinking and we just enjoy the excitement of looking at all the lovely handmade items. *grin*

I think that sort of lessened Mel’s headaches, because each time we got confused with the gifts, Mel would shake her head as if in annoyance! LOL! Sorry, Mel, everyone wanted to be a smart Alex! LOL!

Here are the gifts nicely laid out waiting for the most anticipated moment.

The start of all the excitement and squealing from start to finish. LOL!

Left: Janet opening up Anna's Gift; Sally got Carla's gift
Left; Jo with the gift she got from Sally;
Sabariah with her gift that's going to Carla
Left: Margaret with Diane's gift that is going to Lillie; Mel with the
gift she got from Janet. Cute, huh? Mel and the apron! LOL! *wink*
Usha giving away her gift to Sabariah; Sabariah with the lovely gifts
Usha with the gift she got from Veronica
Left: Tini with the gift from Jo; Rose opening up Lillie's gift to Shanny
Here's a close-up of Lillie's gift which is going to Shanny.

Margaret's gift which Rose got. Really love the turqouise coloured heart! So sweet!

Paul's gift with the cutest heart going to Diane.

Radha's gift to Zarina. Really love the scissor case, and the motif is so sweet!

Coming all the way from Switzerland, a gift from Shanny which Radha got. Love the bag!

The gift that everybody wanted because of the huge of the packaging, and because Mel makes such lovely gifts! LOL! But, Anna was the lucky winner!

Now for the gift that I got from Tini.

Notice the excited expression on my face? *grin*

I got a very lovely travel pouch and a heart shape box wrapped in gingham fabric. The box was filled with some very yummy homemade chocolates!

Tini said that her box was not embellished because a certain member *wink* told her that the gingham heart has to be plain and simple. Now who could that certain someone be? LOL!

Someone cheekily told her that the person was trying to sabotage her so that she wouldn't win the prize for the most popular gingham heart! LOL! Also since I made one similar but with embellishment (which Veronica got), someone said that it was appropriate that I got to - I am to embellish it myself! LOL!

Thank you, Tini, for the heart shape box, the yummy chocolate, and the pouch. I am making the pouch into a sewing pouch. Too sayang to make it into a toiletry bag. Too pretty for the bathroom!

Here's me handing over my gift to Veronica.

Veronica opening up the gift.

Here's a close-up of what I made.

A close-up of my gingham heart box all embelished and doubles up as a sewing box.

In the middle of all the excitement, who should arrive in answer our prayers, but Paul and June! That drew an even bigger excitement as we reached the peak of the Meet.

Seen here Paul with the gift he got from Zarina.

Our next agenda was to pick the winner for the most well liked gingham heart. No criteria were set by Margaret as the person who put up the challenge to choose the winner, for as long as you think it should deserve to win, then you just vote for it.

Headmistress Margaret did almost wanted to disqualify or penalize some of us whose heart did not meet the criteria of a gingham heart that should be gingham back, front and side. But, I guess, being the kind hearted that she is, and since everyone put in so much effort to make the gingham heart, she decided to let the votes decide.

Before deciding on the winner, we all took a break from all the excitement of opening up the Anniversary Gift and looking at the gingham heart by having a round of tea to further enjoy all the delicious food, though fattening they may be. LOL! *grin*

Mel making up a chocolate fondue to eat with bananas. Yum!

After more laughter while enjoying tea, it was time to announce the winner and the well deserving winner was Veronica with her creative and innovative idea of a heart which, when opened up, would turn into a bag. Really lovely!

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated
I think all the gingham hearts were lovely. The challenge really put our creativity to the test.

I especially like those very innovative hearts which doubles up also as something else like the one Veronica made and Mel's heart which doubles up as a purse. Really cute, and all stuffed up with buttons some more!

I can still hear Anna squealling in excitement when she opened up the purse packed full of buttons! LOL!

Envious! Envious! When will I ever get to win one of Mel's gifts!

I also like Diane's and Carla's hearts which doubles up as a needlebook, and Anna's set of coasters.

All the hearts were lovely, and creatively embellished.

Though there were some small initial resistance to the gingham heart, but, at the end of the day, all came out with such wonderful hearts, bringing out the creativeness out of everyone.

Everyone has such a great heart, both the gingham one and the real ones. *smile*

Thanks, everyone, for taking up the challenge and making it a fun challenge.

So, MW, what's the challenge for next year, so that we can start putting on our thinking caps? *wink*

Soon it was time to say goodbye. Even that created a lot of excitement as we started packing our things and hugging each other to thank everyone for coming and thanked Rose for being such a lovely host.

It was drizzling slightly when we packed our cars, and Rose’ hubby played traffic controller in the rain to make sure that we drive off safely. *smile*

After months of preparing for the event, I woke up the next day feeling like I am missing something.

I had spent most of my weekends and evenings in the last 3-4 months doing up the Anniversary Gift,the posting prize, the gingham heart, the door gifts and the last 2 weeks preparing for the hardanger demo that when it was all over, I felt suddenly at a loss at what to do the next day! LOL!

I am just glad that everything turned out okay and that everyone had a great time! I thank everyone for coming.

A special thanks to Janet and Radha who came all the way from Ipoh and Alor Setar respectively. Radha even took a day off from work on Sunday (she works on Sunday) so that she need not have to leave the Meet early on Saturday to catch a plane back and miss all the fun.

Thanks to Diane, Carla and Shanny for joining in the Anniversary Exchange, all the way from the US (for Diane & Carla) and Switzerland (for Shanny), even though you had to pay a very high postage rate to have the package sent to Malaysia.

Thanks to everyone who generously contributed towards the door gifts and the kids’goodie bags, and also to those who brought all the delicious food!

Thank you Rose for graciously opening up your house to host our 4th Anniversary Meet. You have such a lovely house.

I am glad that Paul and June eventually made it to the Meet and injected more excitement into the already excitable situation. *smile*

Time to start planning for the next event – the Fraser’s Hill Craft Retreat and the May Stitching Bee!


a.niza said...

look at all of you...all happy faces and full of satisfaction....I could imagine the laughter and screams of delight on that wonderful day...!

Astrid said...

LOVED reading about the MEET and "see" you! Gorgerous crafts - can't stop looking at it all - and not to forget all the yummy food! Wish I was there! :)

zarina said...

As always - I love your detailed report.

vEr0n!c@ said...

Love the write up, Nik. So detailed. Wanna go back in time and experience it all again!

Lillie said...

Beautifully written, Nik
Wished I was there.

All Things Beautiful said...

WOW! What a lovely time you all had. And what lovely gifts! I can only wish you guys were nearer... Hope to see in person what Janet got when I next balik kampung :-)