Thursday, 18 March 2010

Non crafted related post – or is it?

You know how mums can be, or at least how I can be when it comes to my kids success…

This post is about my babies, my grown-up babies. So when I say that it is non crafted related, I am not sure. I, kind of, made this 3 kids… brought them to live and try to pass them our values, try to encourage them to challenge themselves, to be proud of their achievements, not to be to arch on themselves, to be kind with others and respect other’s feelings… and all of this, sounds like craftsmanship: lots of patience and love, tries and errors, joy and amazement…

So what I am speaking about? I am speaking about swimming : for months now, they went to swimming training, but did not seem to enjoy it as much as when we were in England. We had many grumpy Saturday mornings, any excuse on the book for not going training was given a try. But yesterday and the day before, they attended their first competition since we arrived in Singapore. And they did great: first they enjoyed themselves, really enjoyed themselves (probably the rush of adrenaline, the tingle in their feet and stomach), and secondly they won almost all their races (only one 2nd and 4th position).

We came back home with Gold in our pockets and joy in our hearts.

This is how Juliette kept the pressure away. She is reading, yes, she is. Lesson learnt, everything comes eventually.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Here Kitty, Kitty

What a shame, I have missed The Pioneer Woman’s assignment. Cats, I could have send almost all my Flickr photostream.

I chose a couple of my preferred pictures of my cats.

Nouga10 (pronounce Noo-ga-teen); she was our first cat, so quiet, so above everything, looking at us as if we were her guests. Looking after Alice, spying people in the street…

And now Lao Shi (the Teacher in Mandarin).

We got her from a rescue centre in Singapore. When she arrived with us, she was underweight, her ears looks huge on her tiny triangular head. She is playful, needs a lot of cuddles, stroking. She will welcome me in the morning by jumping from the floor straight to my shoulder (not always painless, especially if I just get out of the shower). She is a serious purer, and have an identity problem – sometimes playing like a dog, sometimes jumping from one plant tree to the other like a flying squirrel.

Fix-It-Friday # 47 from I Heard Faces on a rainy Sunday

I know it is late for a Fix-It-Friday, but I had a busy week-end and it is only now that I have found the time to play around with this picture:


Give me a baby picture any time, and I will play with it. I love baby’s faces, the nice cheeks… Have you notice that babies always have nice round cheeks. I have a theory about this, it is to attract more kisses.

Here are my fixes, I cannot decide which one I prefer:

Fix 1

I like the black and white version, I think it make her gaze more intense.

fix 2

Here I like the warmer colour, a bit of sun shine and the blue-green in the background.

fix 3

On the last one, I like the cropping keeping those little fingers.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Pilates Pillow

I have had my first 2 days of training for the IMP to become a  STOTT Pilates instructor.  That was not has bad as I expected.  This time I did not feel old and out of place.

I came back with a crafty idea.  Actually, it has been in my mind for some time.  I would love to have a mat with some fabric design, something bright to lift my mood, or something cool to smooth it.  I also would like to have a nice bag to roll my mat, and another one for my rubber band, and some assorted towels… and a Pilates Pillow.

So today, between my lesson, a few e-mails and the ‘kids runs’, I managed a bit of sewing.

2010 03 08_Pilates Pillow_0003

2010 03 08_Pilates Pillow_00072010 03 08_Pilates Pillow_0006  Tomorrow I’ll work on some little bags.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Fix-It-Friday # 46

This is the second week I am participating to Fix-It-Friday, using Picnick, this is the only tool I have for the moment.

Here is the original picture:

Look at this little guy's face, I love him: plumy cheeks, little cute nose, and those blue eyes! I had to focus on them: I cropped the picture closer to the eyes and work around these. Next time I will write each steps I took for my edit, I cannot remember what I did exactly.

This is not exactly the result I wanted to achieve, I need some more elaborate tool... Help, any suggestion, Photoshop Element?

Un petit tour en France

Did you know it? I am French, but not quite sure I 'feel' French anymore. Actually, some people may tell you that I feel against being French, some other people I've known for a while did not even know what my strange accent was. I do not know where this come from, nothing bad has been done to me in France.

OK, ok, I tend to think that French are grumpy, argumentative, always against everything, always on strike, unwelcoming etc... I can go on and on. But honestly, there are things I like in France. When I lived in England, I missed going at least once a week to the market, getting my fresh fruits and veg, chatting with the grocery man, comparing the products, waiting my turn at the cheese stall, buying my crusty baguette to go with the cheese. And Yes, French are serious about their food; no woman (or man) will freak out to the prospect of cooking a meal from scratch, peeling veg for a comforting homemade soup, or bake with the kids on a Wednesday afternoon (no school on Wednesday afternoons in France!) ... And what about wine? Sorry on this subject, I could not comment, I hardly drink a sip... but everything considered, I will not say know to a glass of Jurançon (sweet, white wine from the Pyrenées, South West of France) with some foie gras. In addition, I do miss Elle, Marie-Claire Idées and Quiltmania

But if there is something that makes me very uneasy when I go back to France, it is the French women, mums... They are PERFECT! I mean it PERFECT: slim and always nicely made up, classy dressed with an edge, with at least 2-3 polite, polished kids (or 4!)... On the top of being perfect mums, they also work full time, read newspapers and magazines on a regular basis, have time for dates with their husband, organised family holiday like nobody... I have friends like that, and I feel both admiration and depressed when I meet them. What's wrong with me? I am nothing like that... and I feel envy.

Recently, I discovered the French blogosphere, and let me know, you will now understand what I mean about French ladies. Here are some of them, I've started following their blog... and the envy pang is here in my stomach. Understand better about "classy with an edge", "polished kids"... Sorry they are in French, but you will surely enjoy the pictures.

Hope you enjoy the visits.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

F . I . N . I . S . H . E . D

Yes, it is done, finished, a last.

Fast rewind: in April 2008, I led a workshop for my friends. It was a scrappy quilt, probably my preferred type. Victor came with me and was in charge of distributing the pre-cut squares. Why? because, my friends are experienced quilters and have a extremely good sense of colour and harmony, but in this case, the objective was to use all the scraps... I have been known in the group for having them sew "ugly quilts". Very often during my workshops, you can see them trying to exchange fabrics: "No, no, no, I cannot put those 2 squares together!"... Like on this one:

Ugly Quilt from Studio Quilters

So with Victor in charge, no cheating.

Everybody had been very productive, and by the end of the day we had this very nice quilt. It took me some more time to add the borders, and send it to the 'quilting line'.

Victor's Quilt from Studio Quilters

Anyway, I had such a good time that I started a similar (but smaller) quilt for myself. The piecing was fast, but I struggled with the quilting part... I do not know why, I love hand-quilting. It went on and on and I never finished it and forgot about it all together. Until Tuesday, when I went to meet a new group here in Singapore. What to bring for this first visit, a bit of hand work seemed appropriate: the hands are busy and the monotonous up and down move of the needle gives enough freedom to discuss and make new acquaintances.

Two hours later, much progress had been done and almost nothing was left to quilt.
This morning, I decided to tackle it and finish it, and here it is. That was not so difficult (apart perhaps the hand-quilting part without air-con!).

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Late but great

It all started with this... A bit of Indonesian Batik... Sounds familiar?

OK, first if recycling is important for the planet, when it comes to blogging, recycling a post is a bit like cheating.

Secondly, YES, once again I succumbed to Indonesian Batik. Back in January, I bought some fabrics for MP (where she lives, it is hot too and she needs skirts and dresses). I loved this white one, so fresh. So I had to have it, and make a dress for myself. Here is my February's dress.

I made it in a couple of hours yesterday and finished the hem this morning. I used the same pattern as for the January's dress, just changing the skirt to a A-shape.

When will I wear it? Should I wait for a special occasion like going to see Giselle, or to my Cello teacher's concert. Or I should probably wear it just for the pleasure of it.

Now to the March's dress: which one should I do? This one from Vogue, or this one, or this one from Butterick.