Chef’s Apron

28 Jun

Father’s Day was a good reason to open up the sewing machine. Raise your hand if you think finding presents for guys is a big hair-pulling task. Let’s see… One, two, four, ten, more… Just what I thought!

This time I managed with this chef’s apron, a book on Indian cuisine (it even had a butter naan recipe) and a nice CD to jazz up the cooking/eating atmosphere. Dear S, I hope you liked the present. I also hope that soon we get to enjoy your culinary creations and a sight of you in the apron. A great chef deserves great attire!

Here I am trying to pull it off myself. What do you say? I think I would need a chef’s hat and a few flowers pinned to the pocket…

Here it is, packed up and ready to be shipped away. I attempted to make a bow, but realized it ‘ain’t too manly’:

The inspiration for this piece came from the terrific Liz Johnson. With a few modifications to pocket/ part attachments and length my apron joined this one on Sew4Home [link].

Happy Father’s Day! Love and hugs, me.

Oh Happy Day!

25 Jun

I did think of this being the blog name. Every time I read the phrase I want to burst into singing! And not just the usual kind of humming with a serious face to fool the cocubiclers type of singing. But the loud gospel choir style accompanied by wild dancing and clapping. Oh, isn’t that the best ever type? Thanks my dear little sister for teaching me this song!

Anyway, today is a happy day! I realize every day should feel like it if you are all for self-improvement and the search-of-fulfillment with the help of the smile-at-everything attitude. I’m one of those, guilty. But today even the weather cooperated! A thunderstorm to chase the cat’s under the bed and hug each other, the rain to drown in, and the most fantastic wind all through the house! Sitting on the balcony, sipping tea and just looking at this weather performance was a pleasure hard to describe! It calmed down after a few hours (a pity) but brought the rare but oh such welcomed guest of coolness. I walked to work and didn’t once wish for an air-conditioned bubble to get me through the streets. Of course, I usually wish for the one powered by my walking and thus without an impact on the environment.  I should just give a hug to the tree-hugger me. Niiiice!

Yet that would be a bit more deserved was I to continue thinking of ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Our fridge, for one, sucks most of the energy in the house and is followed by the dryer. If we can do without a dryer (clothes dried outside do smell so much fresher), then the idea of unplugging the fridge did not score points with Mr AP. We do live in a tropical climate… sigh… But for now I do fill the half empty freezer and the main compartments with bags of ice or bottles of water (recycled and reused, no doubt). But is there anything else I could do? Let’s see… (searching the web, be back in 15).  Nothing on that topic yet but a few more ideas surfaced and will be implemented or reinforced in our household.  Hold on tight, honey!

* Making and using our own cloth bags for shopping (they have to be crafted by me from the up-cycled old sheets)

* Cooking twice as much for dinner and freezing it for later (aim: to use less energy while cooking and fill up the freezer)

* Set a drying rack every time (has to be at night, otherwise the balcony does not look very attractive and does not appeal to the prospective buyers of the flats in our condo. Fine by me!)

* Collect rainwater for grey-water jobs (oh how on earth do I do that on the 17th floor?! Ideas anyone?)

* Stop eating/ cooking meat (I’m almost there and very proud)

* Pledge not to buy anything for a month (not a single thing other than food. Imagine how much of unneeded things we buy and eventually throw away to pile up and rot in the landfills (and mind you, plastic decomposes after 1 million years!) This one starts today. My friend will have to forgive me for sending her gift in an recycled carton full of shredded paper.  I will do my best to beautify it, I promise. I just had a terrific idea! I am going to make a reusable mailing bag out of an old shower curtain. It will be durable and boast a tamper-evident seal system. That is another project for this weekend.

* Live simply… Big statement with so much ambition packed into it! And it would definitely take time to break it down to swallow-able pieces

So many things to accomplish during the next few days in addition to cuddling with hubby, listening to his ideas of shaving the cats, training them to open the doors and create his .ppt presentations, and clean their own toilet too!

Coming back to today in its wonderfulness – it is something to celebrate with a long walk with a dip in the hip and a song on the lips! O HAPPY DAY!!!

Mr Ant’s Pants

24 Jun

This one is all about my favorite hubby.  Here is to you, honey!

You had the most terrific idea to photograph my projects and post them online; but did you stop there? Net net net. You created a blog for me and spent all night beautifying it. Was it a surprise? A huge one! Was it so very welcome? You betcha! You even thought of telling everyone about it. Well, that is handy as the whole world should know I love you and have a new name for you: Mr Ant’s Pants. It’s daring, I know, but so true! Besides, it would be too tough to write ‘Amazingly Extraordinary and Incredibly Terrific Guy’ every time I want to talk about you.  Aren’t I cheesy? But I’ve just started.

For those who haven’t met him, here is an intro to my Mr Ant’s Pants in a bullet form:

* A very talented photographer (if you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself here)

* An aspiring handyman – you should see the confidence with which he holds the drill

* A definite smarty-pants – he can give you an amazing overview of the Singapore policies; comment on the best way to train cats; convince you it’s worth following California primaries and hold hours-long discourse on molecular physics

* A dedicated jogger (and this one makes me so happy!)

Blushing yet? And there is more:

* A smashing dancer (really, I mean it)

* An even better singer

* Ninja’s favorite shirt wearer (that silly cat of ours loves hugging AP and sucking on his shirts)

* Poopsik’s preferred belly massager (since I started talking about our cats)

* Somebody who would love to get a third cat. Ok-ok, this one is from the wishful thinking list unfortunately…

* The most creative cook – would you say bananas don’t go into a green salad? Wrong. They do and very much so. Maybe we could have that again soon? Or does that also fall into the wishful thinking category?

Well, I could continue but you get the point.  If I’m only aspiring to awesomeness and holding the title of the Bee’s Knees, my hubby is just ‘the-third-cat-desire’ away from it.

What happened to the ducks

4 Nov

Imagine that – the cats happened to the ducks. Not in the usual sense, of course, our little ‘mottus’ would not eat dry dough, just the very best cat food. Smart ones, no doubt. But like all cats they love climbing, exploring, sniffing around for something new and unusual – this time, my half-dried ducks! A few fell off the shelf, broke into many pieces and left me in a state of no-craft for some time.  You might even know this feeling – enthused one day, want to finish your masterpiece the next day, down the hill on the half-done thing the third day…  Anyway, no ducks for now. But… Another really big project is coming up! I shall write about it tomorrow… Tata!

feeling poetic

31 Jul

Today I am slightly down. Tried to figure out the cause but in vain. Picked up a few things off the cubicle wall, reached for ‘neater’. And there it was, a poem sent by my old and very good friend. Let me type it up:

Nasha vstrecha prosto otlozhena na kakoy-to nemislimiy srok. Horosho, chto pochta otlazhena: vse chto vazhno tak – mezhdu strok.

Mezhdu strok – berezovim shepotom, drobyu kapelna shifer krish. Mezhdu strok – chto-to eshe bi tam, kak obichno ti govorish…

Osen’, osen’… V tuchi otvislie, tihih slez na samoe dno. Do rassveta ryzhimi pismami s vetok klena brosat’ v okno.

Chtobi utrom, viyda na ulicu ty vsegda pri sebe imel nashi pisma chto vsyudu stelyatsa – pisma s servera ”osen’.mail”.

This poem is about autumn, greetings postponed for indefinite time, gratitude to postmen and stamps, letters, and things that can only be said in between the lines, whispered like the light rain on the roof tops, quiet tears of tired clouds, oak leaves for letters that fall while reaching for the window, something for you to hold while you walk  through the morning sighing park, letters from the north stamped ”autumn.mail”…

See, I know what it is now: it’s the ‘homesickness’. Sickness of heart, longing for home, family, friends. I will see some of them soon and cannot wait. Oh, these long summer days all the way on the other side of the world! So sunny but often so sad. I wish there was rain. Long and cold rain in sheets. Maybe tonight?

Loose ends

24 Jul

Unfinished projects, untied ends, half-stitches and parts of sweaters.  That is my crafty life in a few words.  What to do with it? Change, you say, follow through. The problem is, though, I am more of a try one thing – get bored – pick another thing type of a girl.

But how do I concentrate on one project, when there are so many more waiting? Painting, woodwork, knitting, beading, sculpting, oh the list is so long it is overwhelming. Where do I start? Actually, I’ve started many times. My latest passion is sculpture. I do browse all sorts of DIY websites and should probably mention a few here. That’s where my ideas are flipping their wings. I catch them alright.  This week my journal is full of ‘buy flour and salt for the ducks’ or ‘make ducks’ or ‘paint the ducks’. My very own reproduction of the ‘duck wall-art’.  They are drying on the top of the bookshelf far enough from the cats and close enough for me to remember to put them ‘to flight’! Wait for a picture, next week for sure!

The weekend is almost here and my dear hubby and I are traveling to Malaysia for diving! Another ‘first’ for me and I’m excited.  There will be photos. And they will definitely trigger my mom’s renewed effort of reminding me to eat more. I almost don’t mind. She remembers to scold me every time, but at least she remembers. That’s love too, don’t you think?  And who would refuse a second helping of that?

In search of a book

24 Jul

Just got back from my very long lunch without getting as much as a crumb in.

I went to search for a book by Cormac McCarthy, the one about pretty horses. See, just yesterday I finished his ‘The Road’. What a beautiful book! The language is stunning, bordering on poetry… listen to this: ”borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it”. Or this: ”by day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp”. So I set on my road to the bookstore. No ‘All the pretty horses” though.

I did find a few other seemingly interesting books and will post a note or two about them once I’m finished devouring them:)  yes, that’s exactly what I do with books lately.

Another first

24 Jul

Here it is – my first ever entry! What is it about ‘firsts’? First step, first word, first dance… For one, they are exciting, like ventures into the world of ‘seconds’ and ‘thirds’, sometimes better, sometimes better-nots. To tell the truth, I am thrilled! I can just see this blog of mine five years down the road full of pictures of my cats, kids (!), places visited, cookies baked, toys made. That is, of course, if I stick to it! sometimes my green coloured pen and paper are too enticing… Anyway, hello world!