Friday, April 01, 2011

He runs a marathon; she goes marathon sewing!

Yup! That’s what we did last November (yup! this posting is way overdue! *grin*) when we went for a trip to Penang from the 19th to the 22nd of November 2010.

My hubby had wanted to participate in the International Penang Bridge Run for the quite some years already but he kept putting it off. Maybe the timing was never right all this time.

But, last year, after coming back from the Ipoh Marathon in October, he decided that this year would be a good time to take part in the marathon in Penang. He asked me if we were to go to Penang, would I have anything to do.

What? Going to Penang? Of course I have something to do! Yes! Yes! I want to go to Penang! I was jumping in excitement when he told me that he wants to go to Penang to participate in the marathon because then I get to attend the bag making class at Corine’s! LOL!

I immediately asked Corine if she would run a bag making class for me on Saturday, 20th November and Sunday, 21st November 2010. As it was too close to Hari Raya Haji (Raya Haji was on the 17th of November), I was thrilled when she said she would have the class for me!

So, the date was set!

We started our journey to Penang on the 19th of November at about 3.30pm after my hubby came back from a meeting he couldn’t get away at the office.

When we started our journey, it started raining cats and dogs. It rained for most part of our journey, so we couldn’t travel fast. It took us more than 6 hours of travelling when we finally arrived at our hotel at about 9.00pm. We checked into Vistana Hotel before we made our way to a mamak restaurant for dinner within walking distance from the hotel.

The next morning, I was already up by 6.30am, all excited to get started on the first day of class at Corine’s. My hubby had made arrangements to have lunch with a friend, and also to do some last minute training at the gym at the hotel before picking us up again.

Seen here is Aiman with my sewing machine and other things, waiting at the hotel lobby for my hubby to get the car to go to Corine’s.

Aiman has packed up his PSP, all ready for the long wait at Corine’s as mummy learns to make a bag! LOL!

Corine had recently renovated her small little craft hut cum shop. It is now almost twice the size of the original hut.

This photo of my hubby and son in front of the hut looks like as if they were at some kampong , when in fact they are right in the middle of a busy town in Penang!

The hut shop is now more organised and can now take in 3 students at the same time without having them to knock their buttocks against each other. LOL!

The sewing machines are placed in a neat row next to each other, with plenty of room to place your sewing pouch next to it.

The fabrics are now all arranged vertically on the bolts, making it easy to choose the fabrics you want, making it harder to resist not buying something from the rack! LOL!

There is even a space to place a laptop which kept Aiman occupied all day, thus I don’t have to worry about him coming to me wanting to go home, leaving me in peace to work on the bags! LOL!

There is a wall to put up all the gadgets and knick knacks needed to make the bags she teaches.

The table in front of it was just perfect for doing stuff like writing, designing, and putting the bag handles on, which was exactly what this gentleman was doing to the Banana bag I had just completed doing, all within a day!

While I was there, there was this lady hand stitching her Hawaiian Quilt piece which Corine was promoting for the month of November.

The whole hut has bags hanging from everywhere possible to give you inspiration and to showcase the bags that Corine teaches.

The way they were all arranged and hung for you to see the bags from any angle that you are sitting in the hut, it was hard to resist not wanting to do them all! LOL!

The first day of class, I managed to complete the Banana bag.

This bag is really huge and roomy, I could lose my things in there, and when the hand phone rings, I am sure I won’t be able to locate it in time to answer the call as I will be fumbling through the bag in search of it! LOL!

I am going to end up having many missed calls when I use this bag as I’ll be spending a lot of time digging and rummage through the bag, looking for that elusive handphone as it rings! LOL!

I managed to start on a second bag, the bag pack which I had bought the kit much earlier and done all the preparations before coming to Penang. I did not get far on it when my hubby came to pick me up at about 6.30pm.

I brought back homework to do in the hotel room! LOL! My hubby found it amusing that I had homework to do! LOL! *grin*

I started on the homework as soon as we got back from dinner. My hubby went to bed early as he had to be up by 1.00am to get ready for the race which was to start at about 2.30am with the first flagging off .

By the time I was ready to go to bed (there was a lot of homework to do! LOL!), my hubby got up to get ready! LOL!

I woke up to the sound of thunder and heavy rain at about 2.30am, the exact time for the first flagging off. It took me some time to get back to sleep after that as I was worried for my hubby as he would then be running in the heavy rain and thunderstorm.

I don’t know when I fell asleep again, but I got up again at 5.30am to get ready as I could not sleep anymore.

My hubby finally came back to the hotel as about 7.00am, and proudly showed me his medal upon completing the race within the qualifying time.

I am so proud of him. I didn’t expect a medal. This is his first, I think, since he started entering marathons. Before this he has been bringing back certificates for completing within the qualifying time for the 10km runs. This medal is for the 21 km run! I am VERY PROUD of him! Congrats, Dia!

After breakfast, my hubby sent me and my son to Corine again for my second day of class. He went back to the hotel after dropping us off to rest and to catch up on some very much needed sleep.

For the second day of class, I worked on the bag pack. I worked on it far enough to give me an idea on how to complete it on my own at home. I did not want to complete it there as there was a lot of hand stitching that needed to be done which I could doat my leisure at home.

Here's the bag all completed. 

The 3rd bag, the 3 Compartment Bag, was also kit I had bought at Kelvin’s before coming to Penang.

It was one very complicated bag that I was totally drained of energy going through the steps of making the bag. I took many photographic notes. I just hope I can remember how to do it again should I want to do it again (which I think I will) for the second time.

I did not complete the bag in class that day, but came back home to Kuala Lumpur to complete it, guided by the instructions Corine gave.

I also made some of my own adjustments and amendments to suit how I wanted to bag to look like.

In Corine’s original design, she has one side of the handle with piping, and the other with binding. I wanted both sides to have piping as I thought it would look better, but Corine said that it wasn’t possible due to the way it was designed to be made.

I came home and sat down to figure it out, and, here is the result!

I managed to figure out how to have piping on both sides of the handle! I must say that, with due respect to Corine as my teacher, it was kind of complicated, but it was not impossible. I just had a lot of thinking to do to get it figured out.

I made a mistake at the bottom of the bag, but, heck, I bet if I did not tell anyone, no one would have known about it! LOL!

Another thing which I made changes to the bag was to add a flap to the bag.

The original design had two separate leather flaps to go over each opening of the bag. I decided to do just one which goes over all 3 compartments. That way I can have the magnetic snaps towards me when I carry the bag, hopefully making it safer and more difficult to have someone flip it open and dip into the bag.

What do you think?

This is another very roomy bag with plenty of compartments to put all your knicks and knacks, but, this time, you won’t be having that many missed calls as there are two pockets to put your handphone in, which you can also use to put your car keys in for easy access when at the parking lot.

On the last night of our trip to Penang, we met up with friends I have not met in over 20 years.

The husband, Hymeir, was a childhood friend whom I think we last met when we were still kids at the age of 5 or 6 years old, in the United States when both our fathers were doing their Masters program.

The wife, Zuraidah, or fondly known as Deb, was a classmate when I was at Kolej Tunku Kurshiah. I think the last time I met her was probably some 18 odd years ago during a school reunion or something. It was a small world when I came to know that she had married a childhood friend.

They have 3 children, but, that night, they had only brought along the youngest child, Elle, as the two older ones were away at college. Elle and Aiman hit it off almost immediately like as if they were old friends.

My hubby and Hymeir too found something in common as they were talking away throughout dinner.

The next day, after breakfast, we headed on to Chow Rasta to look for some of those famous pickles known to Penang to take back home for our staff at the office and relatives.

We checked out from the hotel at noon on Monday, 22nd November 2010, and started our journey back to Kuala Lumpur, arriving safely at about 5.30pm after making one stop at the Sultan Azlan Shah Rest Area for lunch and to do our prayers.

It had been a very fruitful and productive outing for us. My hubby got to participate in the International Bridge Run which he has been wanting to do, and I get to attend 2 bag making classes. We also managed to meet up with some friends we have not met for a very long time, and Aiman made a new friend.

We hope to do this again next year, insyaAllah, God willing.