December 9, 2010

Pochee Crazy !

Hello everyone. Its been a very wet and cloudy December in KL. Yesterday went balik kampung in Bukit Merah to visit in-laws for the last time. It was a gorgeous sun shiny day with clear blue skys , but by the time we made the return trip home at 6.30pm it was raining torrents and the heavens were split by thunder and lightning. We finally made it home at 10.45 and headed straight for the Mamak stall :-)

I made these dresses a few weeks ago. It started as a birthday dress for my dear niece Fitrah, but after seeing how cute it was I ended up making one for Shasha and Fina, so here they are !


Made in Yellow Buds by Hunky Dory. 1 Yard was a bit short for her so added a lower frill.


Here she is at I-City with her mom and baby brother on her birthday.


Fina's in Chocolate Lollipop and Shasha's in Remix by Ann Kelly. I sort of fell in love with the added ruffles. The original used a bias tie around the neck or buttoned all the way down, a bit too tedious for me, so I improvised by making a placket on the back skirt and made button bands only on the back yoke.


Here they are, best of friends at 8 years old. I sometimes wish my girls will stay like this just a little bit longer! Pretty soon they'll not want dresses any longer :-(  Well, the circle of life must go on.

I first saw this pattern made by the talented Zura here and knew I just had to get the book. I believe I browsed thru it on 4 separate occasions and each time convincing myself that NO I do not need another pattern book! On the 5th visit, I finally decided that YES I was going to buy it and suddenly this young couple picked it up and seemed so interested! OMG, I was nearly in tears, my heart was racing. They put it down, I picked it up and ran to the counter for my life, they looked flabbergasted haha, yup this is a true story.


Sizes in here are for 90cm to 130cm and they are gorgeous. A MUST !

One more week till I leave Malaysia, not much looking forward to it especially going from 32C to a -6C, brrrr , I hope the kids can take it. Have been shopping for winter clothing since it is a bit cheaper here compared to Europe.

My IMac is leaving with Mr J on his flight tomorrow night, so that means this will be my last post from Bukit Antarabangsa, Malaysia. I'll see you next from cold, wet and cloudy Rotterdam.

Adios and keep on crafting.

ps. I couldn't help it, I bought books on crochet and knitting, have high hopes of making pretty sweaters once there! Lord, I'm gonna have excess baggage moannnn.

November 27, 2010

My Sewing Nook has GONE :(

Salam all, I'm a bit stumped at the moment! Basically most of my possessions have left the building and most probably somewhere enroute to the Gulf. Please Somalian Pirates, leave my container alone!! 

I've parked my MAC right next to my mattress on the floor ( yup the bed has gone too), and my daily ritual is now tying up loose ends and  organising things that are left behind. Those to be given away, those for charity and those to go to the dumpster. My body has been aching these past few weeks, seriously getting too old to be this active, sleeping on the floor not helping either :( 

What I miss most is of course my sewing machine , waaaaaaaahhhhhh and my pattern books. Can't believe how wrapped up in my sewing i've been these past few month. I wanted to post some pictures of my sewing nook as it once was sob sob. Even though its just a corner but its a place I can truly call my own.


My sewing table with my fabric covered corkboard 


My Egyptian closet stacked with my most favorite cottons and pattern books


The landing where these little two read or play their gadgets while I sew, or to simply roll around


Mr J's study nook just across from mine where the kids hijack the Mac any chance they get!

The tables and closet remains but anything personal has all been cleared. I am a little sad at leaving the life and place that I have called home these last 3 years. I can't believed that I've lived in 6 homes in my 11 years of marriage, but this by far is my most beloved.

I've been painting the walls and making repairs, only one more room to be painted, ouch, hard work ! I don't know when I'll be able to return to this lovely home but I do hope that it will happen someday, InsyALLAH. But then, what is LIFE if not for its surprises eh? Three more weeks till I FLY to join my beloved Mr J  :)

November 23, 2010

Azirin's Wedding -Part 2

As promised earlier, here are photos of Azirin's wedding reception which was held at Merak Kayangan on the 13th November 2010. She was a vision, all decked out in gold lace and beads. The night went perfectly and best of all, it was great seeing relatives and cousins who lived far away and most that I have not seen in years! Us with our busy lives, it takes events like Hari Raya and weddings to really get together. But we had a blast especially with the photo session at the end :-)


The beautiful couple walking towards the main table


The kiddies insisting on going up on stage !


With some of my aunts and cousins


My mom in Red with my Aunt in Blue. They've always had this ongoing feud on who is the prettiest of them all. We the kids, very wisely have kept silent :)


The parting gift were yummy chocs in pretty boxes decorated by my mom


My in-laws with us that night


Yup, thats me on stage, giving my 2c worth on the bride! I have a serious case of stage fright and I had earlier absolutely refused to go up. But after seeing my baby sis on her special night, I felt that I had to share with our guests exactly how special she was. So, while everyone was busy eating, I grabbed a pen and paper and started scribbling. Lord, that had to be the most impromptu speech in history ! But after the first few minutes of babbling, I calmed down and did manage to say what was in my heart , which was mainly a little bit of advise from an elder sister and my doa and wishes for the both of them.

According to my mom later, her friends were mightily impressed with my speech, except for one mistake, it seems I actually said 'good afternoon' instead of 'good evening' ! Lord , utter embarrasement! 

Azirin and Shafri, may you both have the best that life has to offer and happiness together always, muahhhh !

November 17, 2010

Azirin's Wedding - Part 1

My sister Zirin got married last friday, Alhamdullillah! Frankly, the whole family was getting a bit worried over when she would tie the knot. She's a fussy little thing, smart and way too talented for her own good. It was a bit of a bombshell when she suddenly announced to our parents, ' urmm, my 'friend' wants to come meet you'. And by 'meeting you' the boy came and asked my parents permission for her hand! Then the flurry of organising the wedding took hold. All the work was done by my mom, zirin and baby sis and between the 3 of them they did a beautiful job. The whole thing went without a hitch. I'm a bit sad that I didn't get to help, I was busy running around doing my own organising :-( I didn't even get a new dress done, just didn't have the time, and ready made ones never fit me cos I'm too tall and skinny to be average , sob. So, I ended wearing something old.

Here are the photos of the engagement and wedding solemnisation ceremony held at my parents'.


Zirin looking relaxed whilst waiting for her groom !


The groom being told the rules of marriage by Tuan Kadi. Ironically, this is the exact Tuan Kadi that officiated my marriage at that exact same spot 11 years ago! Lord, how ancient that sounds , LOL


Such a beautiful serene bride to be, her dress was stunning, wished I could have gotten a close up.


The exchanging of rings


The four siblings with the gorgeous mummy. My mom painted the walls herself! Yup, she's one of those 'I can do anything' types!


Enjoying her wedding feast with new hubby. My mom made a whole pot of masak lemak udang galah (Tiger Prawns in Coconut Gravy), was awesome. Shucks, should have moved that flask out of the way.


With Shasha and Aika who insisted on posing with the beautiful bride. I made Shasha's dress from the Autumn Cucito 2010 same as here. I used 1 meter of this gorgeous maroon velvet I found at Harrisons. First time using velvet, I have to admit it was pretty tricky, but as long as you sew with right sides together, it was ok. Only catch was that it can't be ironed and topstitching was impossible. But I loved how it turned out, simple and demure and the material flowed gorgeously. 1 metre only got me 3/4 sleeves however and hem slightly above the knee. I always underestimate how big she has grown.

I wished I had gotten better pictures though, but I was too busy running around entertaining the guests. Hopefully the photographer has good ones, he better! 

I'll post photos of the reception later, thats even more stunning :-)



November 3, 2010

MY Girl has come a long way

Celebrated SHASHA's birthday recently. Since her's was on the 25th, a monday on the start of exam week, she agreed to postpone it till the week after. I did of course bring everyone out for dinner to celebrate and she got loads of books in the process. She's so into The Tiara Club Series now so I decided to head over to our favourite bookstore ( other than Kino), bookexcess at Ampcorp Mall. Yup, even though its all the way across town I ploughed through traffic to get there! Why you ask, well, for those who are not aware, bookxcess is just that, they sell excess books at very discounted prices. A RM35 paperback goes for RM17, and even hardcover editions go for Rm19 / RM17 and keep checking their website because they're allways bringing in new titles, too bad they're not getting any Japanese Pattern books, then it would have been perfect :-) Its of course a great place to get kids books. Adam got his Brinsinger and Eldest for Rm17 and Danny his Dr Seuss for RM12!

I made Shasha a new dress to commemorate the day ( actually I was sick of packing ! shhh), the pattern from the cover of Autumn Cucito. Made it from the gorgeous Hunky Dory Garden in Green. Turned out very pretty I think.



She's getting a long distance call from her beloved Ayah, she is such a daddy's girl! I tell you, she only has to say the word and the daddy will get it for her, it never works for me ! You really should see when she's lying on the sofa, twirling her hair and having a chit chat with her daddy on the phone, utter romance LOL!!



So on Monday the 1st of Nov we went over to her school. Made some cupcakes , her friends were more excited over getting the party packs tho. But they were so cute, everyone said 'Thank you Aunty' after that and Shasha looked so proud and happy. 



Looking at her now, I find hard to believe everything she went through. She was born full term at 3.79kg and healthy. She however did not thrive as normal babies did even though she fed well. Every time I pointed it out to the hospital paed he would dismiss it but a mother's instinct are never wrong. She contracted serious pneumonia at only 5 months and had to be hospitalised for a week. I was doing my closing from the hospital bed and not getting any sleep, it was exhausting. After that episode she continued to be hospitalised every month for serious asthma, I seriously have a phobia of hospitals now! 

I really think it was a blessing that events conspired to enable me to stop work because she was not thriving at all. She developed motor skills and speech much much later than other kids. The two of us have been to weekly sessions of physio and speech therapy from the time she was 4 till just before she entered primary, scans and tests. But seeing her now, so confident and happy and interacting with other kids, I sometimes can't help shed a tear of happiness at the most unexpected moments.

The world is changing and we hear more and more cases of children with autism or other special conditions where before it was very rare. I salute those mothers who are dedicated in giving their all to their children, I know how hard it can get. But always remember it is worth it 100% and when at times it gets just a little bit overwhelming, call the hubby and go get yourself a day off :-)

One thing I do regret however is concentrating so much on Shasha that I disregarded Adam. He became such a wise little person too fast and was always helping me out around the house. He was the one helping to look out for the baby sister even though they are only 2 years apart. I'm trying to be fair to all now that Shasha is on the right track.

To my darling girl, just be the best that you can be and no matter how far or high you go, what matters is you keep that heart of gold.

xoxoxoxox
Ibu

October 28, 2010

It's Zara again!

Hello dear cyber readers, I'm sick today :-( Thats why i finally decided to take a break from my hectic packing and blog. This one is so so long overdue but it really is one of my most adorable collections to-date. These were commissioned again for my niece Zara by her lovely mom for the past Eid. A bit unorthodox for Eid, but the mommy just fell in love with the cute Japanese pattern books, who wouldn't ?!

So here they are , ta-ra !

Set 1




Pattern from this look, she loved the simple Sunday School look, so i tried to keep the choice of material from being too garish.


Set 2,



I just love the itsy bitsy shorts, cuteness personified. I couldn't resist making the 2nd one from pink, Zara is just so cute! These from this original photo:


These two patterns are taken from this book. Its definitely worth it, the patterns are modern, fresh and so very boutique. Does take some fiddling to do but the results are so gorgeous!

And here, the last, a simple peasant long sleeve tunic


Met Zara's mommy ( Intan) recently and she wants more! Well, not a problem except that postage will later cost a bomb :-)

The movers are supposed to be here in the next week and there's still tons that I need to sort out. The kids toys are giving me a headache, I'm telling them, thats it, no more toys from now on. Its amazing how much trash 3 little tykes can horde in their bedrooms! At least now, Adam has moved away from toys and into collecting books and he has become such an organised little person, its scary! Have a feeling it skipped a generation and he's getting it from my mom's side of the family :-)

Thats it dear readers, the kids are hollering for their dinner , sigh, a mom's work is never done.

October 7, 2010

Honeymoon in Netherlands :-)

Honeymoon ? Ummm yes, coincidental let me assure you :-) Hubby had a meeting and some work in Rotterdam and for the first time ever, asked lil old me to come along! Yeahhhh , of course I couldn't say NO, so I said YES BABE! 

Its been 7 years since I was last in Europe and I think 15 since I visited Netherlands, so was really excited. It was a 12 hr flight from KL, took KLM. Not too bad, KLM seats are wider and the crew was very friendly. They also happen to be cheaper than our national airline by RM1.4k :-) ! I was greeted at Schipol International Airport by a Fog! Not so great when you're moving from 32'C to 10'C overnight! That day cleared however to a bright but still nippy day. Here's the view of Rotterdam from my hotel window. 

Netherlands is essentially flat with the west coast going below 8m below sea level, yup a scary thought! So the rule is, if there's a flood, head west or up north to Switzerland! Rotterdam itself is a modern city as most of it was destroyed during WW2. The surrounding countryside however was so beautiful, green pastures with sheeps and cows grazing and lovely little houses.

We visited the Binnenrotte Farmers market that Saturday, and let me tell you, it was a feast for the eyes. Gorgeous fruits and vege's, fresh fish, cheeses by the rounds and the flowers were heavenly. I'll let the pictures do the talking :)




And here's something for you crafters! 




Found a row of stalls selling fabrics from cotton to satin to fleece and even upholstory fabrics and stalls selling notions and trims too. I was hopping up and down, its like being in crafters haven. Couldn't resist getting a few things hehe, but they're not for me :-)


 On Sunday took a 1hr train ride to Amsterdam. Beautiful gothic city with its criss cross of canals and tall tall houses that looked liked doll houses.



Visited the Red Light District, how could I not ! But photo taking is forbidden there, so sorry, no photos but did take some of the surrounding streets , as my Mr J terms it, 'the support services'!

One thing, if you see a 'coffee shop' , this is not your average coffee shop, they'll serve you coffee but laced with marijuana! But laws are strict in that you can only consume it inside the premises only and be of age. If you want normal coffee with a doughnut, go to a 'cafe' :-)



 We stopped at a 'cafe' and had hot chocolate. The best i've had, a block of choc on a stick that you plunged in steaming fresh milk till melted and add a dollop of cream, aaaahhh heaven.


Netherlands is easy to get around as its a worm hole of tram, metro and train lines. The Dutch are people who either walk or cycle, which I think is an excellent way of getting around plus with their excellent public transport, who needs a car ?!

Well, thats it for this post, I'm still recovering from the long 12 hr journey home, contracted food poisioning at Schipol Airport, so you can imagine the horror of the following 12 hours. I kept eyeing the door and calculating my odds of survival if I jumped ship !

But fear not, there will be more stories of Netherlands and its neighbours in the months to come as I will be moving there end of November. Yup, a bit sad of leaving home but excited of new experiences, packing will be a nightmare though. So till next time , au revoir ( ummm thats french !) The Dutch says Tot Ziens! 


September 20, 2010

Hari Raya 2010

Selamat Hari Raya to all! By now everyone would have been back to the usual hectic daily schedule :-) It was so great that this year's holiday coincided with the school hols so it ended up being 2 weeks of holidays, bliss for me, not having to get all 3 kids ready for school etc. This raya turned out to be a sad occasion however as on the 2nd day while we were in Ipoh at MIL's house, hubby's uncle, Ayah Cik, passed away. It was very sudden of a heart failure. Understandably no one was in the Raya mood for the remainder of the week. He was a gentle soft spoken man and he left very peacefully, May God keep his soul among those that are pious, InsyaALLAH.

I made raya breakfast at home this year with my mom and sisters and aunt attending. Here are the kids all dressed up that morning.


I wanted to deviate from the usual baju kurung this year for Shasha, so I made her this long sleeve pleated dress with matching pants. Still demure but she had fun jumping and running around in it.

And here is the family picture


Me in green with my youngest sister , SIL , 2nd sister and my Mr J. My brother w baby Danish and my parents up front. You may be wondering why we took a family picture in an Esso petrol station ?! Haha thing is I've been having my first day raya ever since I got married at this exact station! My parents are retired and opened this one all the way in Klang. So raya time the whole family needs to pitch in since they're short staffed. But it is pretty festive as all the customers turn up in their raya finery and wish us Selamat hari raya! And of course my kids have a field day choosing whatever drinks and sweets they want!

Here are my 3 stooges getting ready to visit our neighbour's open house. It was a scorching hot afternoon so we decided to keep it simple.


Another one I made for Shasha, 3 qtr peasant sleeve tunic w pants with contrast neck and cuffs.

Here they are with their best friends, Shasha and Arfan, cute huh


So thats it for now, am rushing off now for my Dutch class. Nope that was not a typo error, hehehhe, till later, enjoy the rest of raya friends!

August 17, 2010

Happy Birthday My Boys :-)

My Adam turned 10 recently whilst Danny was a while back in May. It would have been unfair to just make a party for Adam and not little Danny, so here Ibu went all out to make a party her boys will hopefully remember.

Adam next to his best friend Danish and the brother Didi ( matching outfits, so cute!) My niece Hani and nephew Eiman just refused to budge.

I used Nigella's Buttermilk cake from The Domestic Goddess. Turned out really well. A blue vanilla buttercream frosting for Danny and Choc buttercream for Adam. The tops are ready made icing stickers that you just stick on top of the cake and its edible, what an invention, made my job so much easier! The boys were awed and so were my guests :) You can find them at good baking shops.


Danny with his buddies, Irfan and Amir, they all wanted Spongebob ! They're so cute at this age!


I love making deserts, I can skip the mains and go straight to desert! From top, hotdogs wrapped in puff pastry and sprinkled with sesame seeds ( kids n adults loved them and easy as pie), coconut macaroons, rocky road, peanut butter jam drops and choc macaroons. Made mushroom voul-il-vent, but they were gone as soon as they were out! Managed to pop one before I got them out :) Maybe will post the recipe here.


Aren't these cute? These were all that were left! Made some stars and gingerbread boys too. I used Donna Hays butter biscuit recipe from her Magazine kids party series (still on the shelves). They turned out really buttery but not too crumbly, perfect. Used stiff royal icing to outline the shapes, then thinned it down with lemon juice, gave some color and filled in the gaps.

I'm glad the day went well with friends and neigbours all dropping in, and the kids had fun with their friends. It was worth the hours of baking and cooking I think to see that I made their day. Shasha is already planning for hers in October, 'groannnnn'!

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