Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Hug this!

As I open my Who What Wear updates, it took me a while to sink in this new look.
Bad girl with an edgy twist. Pairing slim leather pants with pretty blouse, swirly babydoll frock with biker boots, etc. Supposedly obvious pairings for the younger generations these days.

Now, this one, I should name it the "Single Girl's Combat Jacket". Wear this when you go out at night next, gals!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Auckland's Summer Rain

I used to hate the in between seasons in Auckland. Weather would be like a woman's mood (during PMS). Rain one minute, sunshine the next. Once, I took my laundry in and out of the clothing lines, three times. But read what my dear dear friend wrote to me yesterday. Made me miss home more, even it's PMS weather.

"It's raining big fat hot drops of rain here Anna Young. The garden is purring like a cat. Each flower, each plant has its face turned to heaven's kiss.
It's a wet but content world outside my walls.
The cat's on the bed asleep after I combed him and a bolognese sauce is bubbling on the stove in anticipation of my old friend Maureen who is coming to me for dinner and a massage tonight. 35 years ago I loved her madly and passionately but we were obviously supposed to be good friends instead. I often smile about this as I rub her back.
Anna Young the dead palm fronds of summer have fallen on my bowing, wind-listless bamboo forcing them to their knees.
Tomorrow I will have to go out and remove them so the Bamboo can move and whisper to me once again at night in my dreams.
It does that which is why I like it."

Friday, 18 March 2011

My everyday staples

Loving bows.

Kaftan, sadly, no beaches here. So, layer it on. Otherwise, bring on the bikini and flip flops.
Many ways to wear it.

Before and After...

I like bows, and this year it's all about black belt. I'll take it with a bow, thank you.



Inside worn alone

Military shoulder added

Doodles so far...

Being a single mom working from home, sometimes I just have to bring her down to meet the people I'm meeting.

Look what happens when I get name card from them.
Couldn't wait for mum to take pictures of her artwork from school, so she captured both herself.

I can't remember her having a green skirt, but I definitely put green hair bands on her that day.

Doodles so far...

It was just over a year ago when she struggled with soft-motoric skills, i.e. holding pen, writing, pasting things, etc. And now, our wall is scribbled on, taped on, you name it, she'd done it. Yes, that includes sticking ahem, boogers (eww, I know, but I think we all had done it once in our lifetime).

Mum and me

Notice how they have less hair than us?

Plentiful of hearts

Great teacher, great talent.

I never thought I'd sew. But a great woman told me to learn and I did so from her.
Not everyone with great talent can teach. Being a teacher doesn't mean they have great talent. Rarely so to find one who's got both: talent and ability to pass it on.

That reminds me of 1 incident way back when I was very much younger. 2003, I wanted to learn the gu zheng (Chinese zither). Someone recommended a teacher in her late 40's, said to excel in all kinds of Chinese arts, calligraphy, drawing, and the rest.
So I went to see her, but after so much thinking, I decided to go with another teacher out of town.
Fate crossed. That teacher I turned down, was one of the judges in a gu zheng competition. My heart definitely sank. I knew she remembered me.
So she did, because out of the 3 judges, she gave me a fail, while the other 2 judges loved and praised my performance.

People I knew have said before that if I wanted to excel, I must find a teacher who's willing to teach, not just one who wants to let the students know that she's the best in the industry. Certainly have found someone who's genuine about teaching me how to sew.

In honour of her works, here are some of her best.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Before and After...

Some images of before completion and after completion.

Mom's dress:

Our dress:

I said, "Pose for the pic", and that's what she came up with, notice the hand on hips and pout? Classic surprise look.

Go Silk....

My clothes are made mainly from 100% silk and silk compound fabrics. Some silks are hair tearing, some are friendlier. They all "talk" to you. You might want them to go right, but they'll go left instead.

Why waste your time you may ask?

I always loved dresses, it hides the muffin top, love handle, baby fat, orange peel, etc, whatever you may call those devils.
Dresses are supposedly easy to make, right? You can eliminate the pockets, the frills, the flounces, whatever, practically, it's just a rug sack to cover your body, put a belt on it, carry your clutch, add heels and voila, instantly ready to go out.

But nothing out there is made out of silk nowadays, unless you're willing to spend a fortune on a dress by going designer. Nuh ah, it ain't me. Not for clothing at least. I do like Balenciaga jackets, but that's different (I know who's laughing now, yes, you, Chocolatesheep).

Last year, 2010, the temperature was definitely rising as Mount Merapi started to show signs of activity. Polyester just didn't cut it for me no more. So why not go silk?
Simple reason for a lot of time wasting activity, isn't it?

You'll always remember the first....

As they said, you'll always remember your first....

First car?
Red Mazda Neo

First kid?
Will be the last.

First laptop?
HP, held hostage when my ex husband left. Essentially mine anyway. Dad gave it to him.

First pants I made?
Home Economics class 1992, it was a granny smith apple green colour pyjama pants, for my dad. He used it for a good 5 years. It even got pockets.

First dress I made?
June 2010. Here it is:

Sew what?

Christmas 2010, we did not do anything nor went anywhere. Slept and woke up early.
Guess what Santa got us for X'mas?

Sew, what should we sew?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Is this real?

Another earthquake rocks Japan. Shizuoka perfecture, estimated 6.4RS, 10km deep. Almost the same as Christchurch's.
Radiation threat gone down, but wind direction is unpredictable. Iodine pills said to be able to prevent radiation, it exceeded $500/packet now.
Am I in the world I used to know? Is this for real?

No where is safe now. Nature is wiping out what human has done wrong.

Googling what to put inside emergency bag now. Don't think it says land certificate etc, but lets put those in, too. At least when things happen for real here, I'd have a remembrance of what was once home....

Monday, 14 March 2011

Full Skirt Challenge

The difference between men and women lies in their maturity level.
50+ year old male can still behave like a teenager, the "speak before you think" type, the "do before you think" type, so they keep on hurting the women around them.
30+ year old female, burdened by duties to family and condemned to life in singleton for the longest time, would "think then do" and "not speak if it'll hurt".

On to the challenge. It's been ongoing, making my own dresses from finest fabrics, french silk, korean chiffon silk, chiffon, etc. The lucky 7th would be a full skirt.
The 6th is near completion, but just can't wait to jump on board with the skirt challenge. Supposedly, easy, right? Lets find out.

Doodles so far...

One evening after ballet, dear daughter went into a very focused 30 minutes drawing session. These are the result. I think it's about an aspiring singer who tries on different headpieces before going on stage, and finishes on the chair exhausted after her performance.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Taste of finer things

Christchurch and Sendai, put exclamation marks onto "be thankful for everyday".
I'm thankful for being able to taste some of the things I never thought I'd taste (7 years of vegetarianism).

Location: "Sidart, NZ"

Because it was mid-summer, they gave us refreshing pre-entree.
Ginger mixed with watermelon and refreshing lemon sorbet, presented with smoke. Glass lifted, smoke came out, and immediately invoke our senses (hungriness, mostly).

Yellow fin tuna (doesn't taste like tuna at all, or I would've puked it out), aloe vera gel (I like this one on my hair better), radish, wasabi, squid ink (never thought it'll taste good).

Cured salmon (not really my cuppa tea), goats cheese with peas, deep fried smoked eel, and dehidrated seaweed (now this was really yum).

John dori with paua (I know the paua shell used to make jewelleries, but not the meat), miso sauce, and vanilla broth.

Easterbrook quail and rabbit loin with almonds and gingerbread. Not a fa
n of almonds but here, it tastes good, not as overwhelming as most almonds I've tasted.

Ostrich fillet (very rich), cauliflower, smoked date and capers with manuka honey. I love the presentation, reminds me of a garden.

Poussin with seared scallops, apple sauce and celery. What is a "Poussin"? Liver of something? Scary. Would be that little cube at the top.

Hawkes Bay lamb, celeriac, beetroot with licorice. Nice, could feel red blood cells forming already.

The two desserts courses was too delicious that I've forgotten to take photographs.

Thank you for the experience.