Monday, 28 February 2011
Ruffly collar by David Page by Timo Weiland for Urban Outfitters. A new-ish pal for the old gang.
An old favourite.
"Collarful" is really terrible wordplay, I know. Haha. When all I wore was white and almost the same shade of blue on both days.
Sunday, 27 February 2011
The people of the Hezhen ethnic group in northeast China have been making clothing and adornments for thousands of years from the fish, mostly salmon, that they catch. Another great example of the Chinese practice of eating/using all parts of an animal from nose to tail.
The few small eel skin things by Becksondergaard are the closest to fish leather I've been. All dyed in vibrant hues.
I think it would be really cool to find some wearable fish skin things with their natural colour gradations still intact like these Hezhen-made ones. A bag or a pair of shoes in salmon skin, please! Textured like python and crocodile but without the meat wastage. Haha. Or cruelty. Not that I would mind if someone presents me with a beautiful snake- or croc-something. I'm not noble like that. And won't pretend to be.
Oh, and these fish skin garments reminded me of the Inuit seal gut parka (yes, made from seals' insides) that I saw on Costume Detail, one of my favourite recently-discovered blogs written by Jane Petrie, a costume designer and co-owner of Shelf, the cutest shop ever!
Saturday, 26 February 2011
The last time I was at SAM (the Singapore Art Museum) was ages and ages ago and I don't remember if they had a shop then. Maybe they did but the merchandise weren't impressive enough to be etched in my memory or be taken home.
Things have certainly changed over the years that I've been away looking at this Made For SAM catalogue...
...40 everyday objects created specifically for the museum shop by 40 Singapore artists and designers. Objects infused with a sense of humour, some evoking nostalgia, some giving a nod to the culture of Singapore, all fun fun things...I won't be leaving the shop empty-handed the next time I'm home for a visit!
And with pals like Poochie, I don't even have to go to the shop. The shop comes to me! With our pal Slack who was in Sydney last weekend came a gigantic care package put together by dear ol' Pooch!
She bought me the Grills Are For Sale And The Mosaics Are Real tote bag. Screenprinted with one of my favourite features of old-style Singapore architecture - ornate grill gates flanked by mosaic-tiled walls!
A set of assemble-it-yourself Origami Leaf greeting cards.
A Nosejob. Haha! Nose-shaped rubbers/erasers that you can change the contours of with use. Hilarious!
From another pal of ours, Cat. A bag from another museum shop! It's a cool calico version of the old-school brown paper shopping bags that Chinese shops packed customers' purchases in. A rare sight these days.
This modern interpretation is designed and produced by Homespun, an amazing organisation that Cat runs. She connects Singapore designers with cottage industries in rural parts of Asia creating jobs and income for the crafty villagers. In Singapore, she's also done the same for nimble-fingered old biddies in old folks' homes and patients in psychiatric hospitals. Cool, huh?
And yet another pal, Mommy Noi-noi, got me this Yoshitoma Nara notebook when she visited the MOMA Store in Tokyo.
I'm really lucky that I have such sweet pals who support my museum shop-shopping habit! Tee hee hee.
Thursday, 24 February 2011
It's customary for a Chinese bride to have a few embroidered items in her trousseau - my grandmother made my mom a set of delicately cross-stitched bed linen - but sadly, most people these days don't practise that anymore. Probably because most young ladies and the womenfolk in their family don't sew or haven't got the time to. And off-the-rack machine-embroidered things are deemed too "ching-chong" for the modern girl's home or wardrobe.
Me, I love all-things embroidered and in my own little way like to keep dying customs alive hence this gift. The playground chant is very similar to what Chinese elders would say to newly-weds ("Have baby soon!") and hopefully, not too "ching-chong" except for the red-for-luck thread used throughout.
The gift didn't make it to Singapore before the wedding last Saturday. I'm such a slowpoke - I started making it early this year and only put in the final stitches yesterday morning...just before I met the happy couple who are honeymooning in Sydney for brunch. Wheeeeee! It's now Nah-Nah's turn to find a suitable frame for my "art". Tee hee hee.
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Weston's Stowford Press Cider (again), Feral White, Otway Blueberry Hefeweizen
Meantime English India Pale Ale - an old Taphouse favourite in a 750ml bottle
Our Singapore pal/old drinking buddy Slack finally made it to Sydney to see us. Seven years later. With a new wife and kid in tow. Haha.
We tried to re-live our naughty years with a pub crawl around our neighbourhood (sans his missus and child) but we are nubile young things no more. We got too comfortable at our second stop, The Local Taphouse, and stayed until they shut. At 1am. Early for our old selves but late for our now-old-fogey selves. Admitting defeat, we called it a night for we had another day of feasting and drinking ahead of us.
Of course I woke up feeling fragile and feasting was all could manage the next day. Haha. Yeah, "big" weekend.
Saw this poster on our walk home after we left Slack...
Tee hee hee.
Sunday, 20 February 2011
Quilts made from many years' and collections' worth of archived fabrics. I think I would be in textile heaven if I'm allowed a peek!
A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou and long-time collaborator/designer Jessica Ogden embarked on this quilt project because their "shared personal interest of the craft".
"The original reference point was the quilts that Jean Touitou's mother made from Kenzo fabrics. Along with Jessica Ogden's books about the 1970's craft movement in America and the more formal Amish quilting."
This simplest-looking one with its calming colourway is my favourite out of the seven models currently available. All limited editions (30 pieces of each) hand-stitched by the women of the Bangalore region in India.
And I'm inspired to learn how to quilt properly now! For a girl who loves Holly Hobbie-style prairie fashion and craft, this dress is the only quilt-y thing I own. Have to right that soon!
Thursday, 17 February 2011
I found him, or one of his pals, this morning on our living room floor. On his side, wings frantically a-flapping and those little legs wriggling, trying desperately to stand up. He didn't look too healthy to me so I picked him up with a piece of paper and brought him out to the balcony. Maybe some fresh morning air would do him good, I thought.
I left home soon after and when I got in in the afternoon, he was gone...
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
My bak kwa-eating future was looking rather bleak until I saw a recipe for it on Sarah's Loft last week! Guest-posted by her pal Dawn of HandMadeLove, also a girl from Singapore living in Australia (Melbourne). You cannot (or maybe you can) imagine my squeals of delight! Homemade bak kwa anytime I want it, if I perfect the recipe! Wheeeeee!
So, it was with great excitement that I set about making my first batch yesterday...
Dawn used pork mince but I used chicken because I don't eat the meat off four-legged creatures. And I substituted half the sugar with honey because I like sticky bak kwa (apologies to Dawn for tweaking her recipe).
I try not to use artificial food colouring unless absolutely necessary but bak kwa HAS to be kind of reddish so I made some beetroot juice (peel beetroot -> puree -> pass through muslin) to use instead. It worked well, I think.
Getting the mix on baking trays.
I like my bak kwa real thin and using a palette knife (it's one thing I can't do without in the kitchen - so useful in so many ways!) gives a thin even spread.
Like this thin. Which I perfected only with last tray.
One side of the bak kwa after 30 minutes of drying in the oven.
The other side after another 30 minutes. Curled edges = ready for next step!
Cut into easy-to-eat pieces for more drying in the oven.
I like my bak kwa slightly crispy and charred around the edges so for the second round of drying, I cranked the oven up to 180°C and baked the slices for 10 minutes with the oven door closed.
Done! All in a few hours one afternoon. I am very very pleased with the result and am already thinking of all the different flavours I can make next time. Nyum!
Thanks to Dawn for sharing! It's good to know that there are other Singaporean girls abroad who are mad enough to make food that they crave from scratch.
Monday, 14 February 2011
My bloggy-pal Elle is a cheeky one!
In an envelope full of heart-shaped things she sent me was this cute love jet card. For me to give to the boyfriend. From me. Haha.
Elle and I have known each other only for a short while but I think she must suspect that I don't play the Valentine's Day game. Enough to include the "joke".
I didn't give it to the boyfriend, of course. He doesn't play the game too. Plus the card is so cute that I want to keep it for myself.
Thank you, Elle! And Happy Monday! Tee hee hee.
The only thing it has in common with blueberries is the "blue" in the name. Haha. We knew everything about it was going to be super-faux but we sure weren't expecting it to be artificially-coloured in that liquid-toilet-cleaner-blue! It tasted alright, though. Nothing like real blueberries but drinkable. Would we buy it again? No.
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Intrigued by Monique's confident economy of words (and surprised by the lack of badly-formed sentences peppered with spelling and grammatical errors that usually accompany such marketing emails), I clicked on the www.story-thestore.com link to find these beautiful images which momentarily took my breath away...
I don't know how Monique found me or knew, without much doubt, that I would love what I see but I'm so glad that she did.
Like a prologue in a storybook, these uncontrived pictures make a fine introduction to Monique's Story, one that is filled with such beauty that has been handcrafted with much love, heart and honesty. Just how I like it!
Monique was right when she said "You will love" in her email. The sequinned Amelia Earhart Collar (I'm midway through making a similar new pal for my other collars! Kismet?) and the weathered leather Saddle Pouch (I like transformed utilitarian objects that serve more than their primary function) are just two of out of my long Story wishlist.
I know you will love Story too so I'm passing it on. You should too. It's a tale worth re-telling over and over again.
All images from Story. For more visual treats from Monique, visit her website and her blog. "You will love!" Tee hee hee.