Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Now available at Doinky Doodles!

After much dilly-dallying, on my part that is, I am pleased that some of my creations will now be available at Doinky Doodles's (previously known as Maki Squarepatch) brick and mortar shop on 33 Bali Lane! Xin is one of my gal pals so I am more than happy to have my stuff join the ranks of other local crafters in her cool quirky shop. I will update again with more pics of the items carried there but meanwhile here's a few of them!

The Caged Bird Sings


Scrappy Squirrel

Cool Kitty

Spring Swallows

Rites of Spring

Swan Lake - Orion


More rings coming soon!

Some sold pieces

Meant to upload sneaks before the tea party but unfortunately work got out of hand so photos didn't come till much later. Here's a small compilation of some new pieces sold at the tea party! I was very pleased to have hit my target of a 100 pieces (which still seemed so few after putting them on display!) so there are really many many pictures but I've picked a selective few here.

Earrings! All sorts of colours, new charms, new gems, and of cos more signature roses!

New necklaces featuring lots of vintage flower clusters and quirky animal charms, mostly vintage, some new but altogether cute! Unfortunately these are one-offs so they are no longer available but there will be more uploads of necklaces and rings in the shop soon!

Duchess - gold/silver - SGD 39 each - Both sold

Ooh first appearance online in a while! Where did all that time go?!! It's scary how soon we'll see the little one ~ only another 4 months! Gee. Better start signing up for the antenatal classes and buying those baby stuff before I get too big (and clumsy) to do anything else. Oh boy. Anyway before I digress into more baby stuff which I'm sure is not very interesting, here's a big thank you to all the lovely people who came by Xin's shop for our tea party last Saturday! Everyone loved her shop cos it brings back such fond childhood memories with its bright colours and Xin's signature quirky character motifs!The weather was wonderfully sunny, we had canapes and fruit tarts, and even homemade tuna and egg mayo sandwiches, courtesy of Mr Challenger who trooped down early in the morning to Sheng Siong to make us some pretty squashed looking sarnies haha. Thank you hun!!
It may have only been 3 hours but it sure felt a lot longer! Xin and I didn't sleep much the night before so we beg your indulgence if we seemed spaced out a little at times haha. By the time the last guest left and we packed up, it was 4pm but thankfully we managed to hail a cab on a crazy Saturday afternoon so near to the congested F1 zone. As a special treat, we had an early steak dinner at Astons' before I collapsed into a heap at home.
I know some folks would have wanted to visit as well if not for the F1 or holidays abroad so I'm listing some pieces here! I've also placed some new creations at Xin's shop on 33 Bali Lane so if you're in the area, drop by her chirpy colourful shop and say hi!


Cute rose-motif earring studs from Japan with mixed charms and swarovski details.
Only 1 pair each available in gold and silver tones.

Drop ~ 3.5 cm (left) and 5 cm (right).

Drop ~ 3.5 cm (left), 4 cm (right)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Empress Orchid - SGD 68

It started with just the carved coral roses and smooth goldfilled rings and before I knew it, voila! Infused with oriental flavour, there are a total of 8 little rose garnet teardrop brios and clusters of tourmaline, carnelian and garnet atop smooth phrenite nuggets. Components are goldfilled with a regal drop of 6.5 cm. My only pair!

Briar Rose - SGD 65 - Sold

One of my favourite pairs with pale/deep pink polymer roses speckled with a little glitter ~ I only had enough of these roses for 2 pairs! A pair went home at the tea party so here's another for the online shop.

The faceted smoky quartz brios measure 10x8 mm with tiny briliant rose garnet teardrop brios, rose quartz rondelles and white pearls set against goldfilled marquise frames. There's also my favourite pale pink swarovski crystal chain which I'm using very sparingly right now cos I don't have much of it. Goldfilled components with a drop of about 4.5 cm. Last pair!

Marianne - SGD 59 - Sold

Soft dove colours in blush pink and grey ~ polymer roses, gem brios of blue flash labradorite, moonstone and faceted pink topaz, little rondelles of pink garnet and rose quartz and freshwater petal pearls set against textured marquise frames. Components wholly goldfilled with a drop of 5cm.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another year gone past!

Tuesday was my birthday! Funny how I still feel the same as I did when I was 18 :p Since I was still in a constant state of fatigue, we decided to take it easy and not plan anything fancy. We had our 5th month detailed scan at Thomson Medical Centre on the same day in the afternoon which proved to be a real challenge cos the little one kept wriggling nonstop and simply refused to stay still for his measurements to be taken. And yes, we have learnt that we're expecting a boy!! Like a true Challenger, he was definitely not a shy baby! haha... Meanwhile we have already thought of a name for him but I'll share that at a later date :)
I knew Matt had already made dinner reservations but it was to be a surprise and turns out it really was! We had a lovely poolside table at Dolce Vita, the Mediterranean restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, amidst charming landscaped surroundings. The lobster bisque was fascinating, the "Creation" degustation set was delightful and we left fully stuffed without an inch of space left in the belly. A simple quiet dinner, just the two of us and bump, it was the perfect way to spend my birthday. I was exhausted by the time we got home, a foot and back rub from Matt later, I was blissfully fast asleep before the clock struck ten.

The next day, my dear friend Val and future godmother of the little un visited me at home and brought the most beautiful flower arrangement ever!! Beautiful peachy blooms and roses and fluff in a cool rustic metallic watering can. With the softest giraffe plushie no less! This was HUGE, and gorgeous :) Thank you sweetie!!
See that monkey daddy cuddling a baby monkey? That was a present from Matt! I thought it was the cutest thing ever and being hormonally emotionally vulnerable, I had tears gushing down at the thought of having our own little "monkey" *embarrassed*
And ain't that a lovely cross pendant necklace from Tiffany & Co.? When I saw it, I was stunned into silence (more tears galore) cos I never thought the hubster would even consider stepping into the shop and coming out with their signature Tiffany blue box. My first Tiffany piece ever!
I love it that it's simple with just a tiny diamond at the heart of the cross. Nothing fancy, nothing frilly, yet the perfect embodiment of love. Thank you my love for such a beautiful memorable present :)

And to all my wonderful friends who have sent me birthday wishes, thank you for your thoughfulness!
I am indeed very blessed.

It's tea party time!

(Please click on image to enlarge)

Hope to see you there! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I miss the (pseudo) english summer!

Ooh it's been such a lovely week of staying in and being all domesticated! My friends will know how much I used to dread being in the kitchen but strangely with mummyhood looming, I find myself less adverse to grocery shopping and doing some (long overdue) home cooking! The hubster has been a very happy man coming home after work to dinner on the table, and I've been very happy to play the role of a homey wifey. I suspect my taste buds have long grown sick of neighbourhood takeouts while mummy instincts are telling me I need to eat more healthily for the two of us! I'm starting my 5th month but am barely hitting my pre-pregnancy weight after losing pounds from all that evening sickness in the 1st trimester :(

Anyway I'm sure I'll regret whining about not putting on enough weight when the scales start jumping manically so I shall just keep my mouth quiet and continue to apply anti stretchmark cream religiously :) Rikije recommended a skincare product called Bio-Oil that supposedly improves the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. Perfect for me! So I got a bottle to try on the belly and other problem areas. If it works, I'm gonna have to ask folks back home to ship it by the buckload :p

And here are some highlights from our trip back this summer:

Dressing up with Amber who was a stunner in red

The beautiful St. Mary's in Tetbury

Photo-taking outside St. Mary's

(and yes that's a graveyard with some very very very old tombstones)

walking down the aisle hand in hand

(I really like this picture of a dad looking at his little girl all grown up)

The handsome newlyweds looking oh so happy

a quick family portrait

Had to chase Matt around for a bit before finally getting a picture together
cos he was sooo busy herding people to do photos

the rustic quaint town of Tetbury

an incredible embarrassing speech by the 2 bestmen filled with titillating tales and
juicy excerpts that will probably never make it past Singapore's censor board

some (very posh) friends of the couple
While waiting for speeches to begin, we were drowning ourselves in champagne (elderflower cordial for moi) and romping in the lush countryside sans heels cos they kept sinking into the soft ground. You may just catch a glance in the pictures but there are actually horses and cows some distance away in the background.
bubbly and giggles

and let the party begin! A sign of things to come?

And now we know where the wee one got the monkey idea from :p

That's about what I'll share from the photos uploaded onto my Flickr album cos there are simply too many! Looking at the pictures makes me wistful for the english summer even if it feels like winter at times. Singapore's heat drives me insane sometimes, like it is today!

Lots of new stuff in the works... cos we're planning a tea party for Sept 27th~! I really do want to hold it this month cos I have all these pretty little trinkets sitting around forlornly waiting to go to good homes (apart from running out of space). Be back soon with sneaks! :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

First picture of a little bump

~ 18 weeks tomorrow! Just another 22 more to go haa ~

Update 11/09/08:
Haha I got offered a seat on the MRT for the first time yesterday! Maybe the bump is really starting to show! And yes, my faith in kind considerate Singaporeans has been renewed :)

Thai Airways? Never again!

Hello Singapore!!! Ok so technically we'll have been home a week tomorrow but it's taken me 6 whole days to finally get back into the routine of things. I have so much to talk about! What with a traditional English wedding near the end of summer, which by the way is what I call a fake summer. I brought shorts and skirts I never got the chance to wear, even indoors, cos it was still freezing cold to me!! The only difference between summer and winter gear (for me at least) is a lighter autumn coat rather than the thick heavy fur-lined ones for winter. Oh boy.

We had the most horrible flight experience with Thai Airways, which by the way was the first and now definitely the last time we flew with them. We wanted to fly direct to London via Singapore Airlines on the new A380 but flights were fully booked for the longest time which was a pain. Other airlines like Emirates were more expensive with the need for transit so we ended up with Thai instead. The seats weren't the most comfy, the food was honestly not great plus you didn't have your own TV screens. For a long haul flight we had expected more but oh well, I guess we could live with all these minor inconveniences for the price we paid.

The true nightmare began when we reached Heathrow. We waited forever for one of our 2 baggages until the luggage belt had stopped and the airport staff were removing the remaining baggage off the belt. Alarmed, we approached one of the staff who told us to enquire at what I think is the Star Alliance baggage counter. They checked our baggage tag and informed us that our luggage was not on the same flight but would come in early next day on a later flight. It was what they called "mishandled". When we overheard a colleague of the lady serving us asking her "how many pieces was it this time" and replying with a "oh that's really good" when the answer was just this one piece, we were like, what? Does this happen all the time?!!

Alright so maybe screw ups do happen inevitably from time to time, so when they said our missing baggage would be delivered to us the next day, we were more or less appeased. After all it was a wise thing that we had packed a mixture of both our clothes in the 2 bags so we still had a change of clothes. The next day we went into London as planned to visit the antique markets at Portobello and Angel, and met up with the insanely beautiful and hilarious Rikije at our favourite Lebanese joint. It was a totally delightful day exploring the markets and enjoying a day of what I felt to be more of a summer.

When we got back to Reading in the evening, we had expected our bag to have been delivered since the lady at the baggage counter had said it was arriving at 7am in the morning and it was nearly 8pm when we got in. But no, no bag. Rang the helpline only to get an answering machine. Finally when we had called all the numbers we could call and was checking online for some other way to reach the right Thai airways department, there was a knock on the door and Whoopee! Our prodigal luggage was finally here.

Imagine our horror when we discovered that the lock had been pried open with the contents all messed up inside. Pouches and small bags had been opened and left unzipped. Our camera, some of my jewellery and a pair of ruby earrings I made for mummy challenger were missing. It was a total nightmare! Obviously something had happened when it was either left behind/snitched away during transit at the Bangkok airport. The greatest irony was that it had a sticker on it saying it had been "security screened" whereas the one that arrived safely didn't. What did that mean?!! Of cos Thai Airways denied responsibility saying the airport handlers were not their employees and the only thing they could do was to give us a letter stating that our bag had been broken into.

Unfortunately for us we had been in a hurry prior to flying and missed on buying travel insurance. We naively thought it would be alright this one time since we had flown back to UK many times before without a hitch. It was a painful lesson. The only consolation was that the stolen camera was a prize I won in a lucky draw last Christmas so technically I didn't pay anything for it. But the loss of such an excellent camera did shoot an arrow through my heart. I was greatly distressed when all this happened, and the stress of having your trust in an airline betrayed really got to me for a few days. But there were bigger things at hand, namely the wedding, so I got over it.

I was already dreading having to fly through Bangkok again when it was time to fly home, so imagine the double whammy when on the morning of our flight, a state of emergency was declared in Bangkok. We checked the web for travel advice, only to learn that there was a call for strike from the Thai Airways union on the day we were due to reach Bangkok. Nevertheless it was not confirmed at the time of the report so we still got onto the flight from Heathrow. We had a sign of foreboding when we were not issued boarding passes at the TG counter for the Bangkok-Singapore leg.

6am, 3 Sept 2008. We went to the Thai Airways transfer desk for our Singapore-bound boarding passes only to find it heaving with people all flustered and bothered as we were. After queueing for an hour, we were told our flight had been cancelled but they would put us on a later flight and issue us breakfast coupons. There was nothing we could do but to wait another 5 hours. Pissed as we were, we were relieved simply to get a flight back on the same day. Unfortunately there were not enough seats in the airport for all the disgruntled passengers waiting to get onto some flight or another and I was sick of waiting at fast food joints so we were like, forget it, we're checking into a day room at the airport transit hotel. It was not cheap but at least we got to shower and have a lie down for a few hours.

All in all, it was truly a horrendous experience and much as I wish I didn't have to, I'd have to advise my friends against flying with this airline, or at least avoid flying long haul with them. As for us, this will definitely be the last time we're flying with them. I don't think we could ever go through the same mental distress again. And oh, always always buy travel insurance. You never know when you'll need it.

Lesson learnt.


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