Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

27 Dec 2017

Cross Stitch Experience from a Newbie Perspective

Never would I imagine myself holding a needle and cross stitching my first (and also my last) 3 mini cross stitch projects. In fact I have previously planned to give away these 3 cross stitch crafts as Christmas gifts after ironing and sealing them neatly into little frames. 

I had no prior knowledge or experience in cross stitching and I started off splitting the thread and using 2 of 6 strands to cross stitch on the (probably) 18 count aida fabric from the centre. The count meant the number of holes along an inch of the aida which means the larger the count, the more detailed the artwork would be. Just like pixels in graphics. I basically followed the symbols shown on the patterns (graph) sheet provided in each kit, always remembering to secure the thread firmly during its opening and closing.

Each project that was painstakingly cross stitched by me took at least more the 5 hours to complete, with breaks in between of course. My eyes were about to pop out due to the close colour variation, also stitching white threads on white aida fabric could drive me crazy. My neck and shoulders had started to ache as I counted each squares carefully/repeatedly, not wanting to unstitch any mistakes. My thread often tangled up as I stitch and those stupid auto-knots kept disrupting my momentum which causes frustration. The use of a highlighter indeed proved to be important since it acts as a guide for the completed segment. Indeed a test of my patience.

The sense of achievement was definitely satisfying as hardly any guys my age would successfully complete such craft which was in relevance to a granny's hobby. These floral stitch art on aida fabric actually turned out rather vibrant and beautiful especially when they were placed together in a row. I would love to see my friends' mum reaction after they knew the gift was cross stitched by a guy!

20 Dec 2017

Arm Knitting Experience from a Newbie Perspective

I admit that I do buy stuffs on an impulse at times, just like the many T-shirt yarns for finger knitting and 4 thick flat 'Handy' yarns for arm knitting in this post (and still have in the next post). I bought 2 blue, 1 coral and 1 black ones while the brown and white ones in the images below were arm knitted by me at my ex-workplace.

Not an expert in materials but the handy yarn is made up of 20% Laine Wool, 35% Microfibre Polyamide and 45% Microfibre Polyacrylique. Soft to touch, pretty warm and very mild prickly feel against sensitive skin.   

Should I say that I am thankful to have small arms? The smaller your arms, the tighter your stitches would turn out. In addition to that, I also pulled it rather tightly resulting in these beautiful tight looking stitches found from my images. I guess that thick wool or yarns would be more suitable for arm knitting since your arms act as needle this time.

Youtube once again definitely have many tutorials on how to do arm knitting but just lack of options on what products you could craft from this easy to learn technique. Typical products such as blankets which you could bring into the cinema or office, neck scarfs, and bags or clutches which are more tricky to handle. By controlling the number of loops on your arm, you could adjust the specific size based on your preference. I attempted a challenging task to arm knit a dual coloured piece as shown above, alternating between blue and black, connecting them using knots. Main problem would be a bag/clutch lining would be required since the 'handy' yarn stretches easily with pressure.

Anyway, I have left it incomplete for now and hopefully I would transform it into a usable large clutch once the lining part is sorted out.  

18 Dec 2017

Finger Knitting Experience from a Newbie Perspective

Finger knitting was the first basic crafting skill which I had picked up many months back that did not require any needles or hooks unlike embroidery, knitting, crocheting, etc. It just requires your fingers as the technique suggests, which was relatively easy to learn yet requires practise for consistency. Although consistency could be a challenge to many but patience is definitely a challenge to most. 

Mesmerised by an ex-colleague's finger knitting craft pieces as she showed me her beautiful bracelets crafted from T-shirt yarns (also known as jersey yarns), I ended up buying many 'balls' of them to play and experiment with. (Note: Finger knitting does not necessary have to use T-shirt yarns) I basically selected shades of similar colour so that I could play around with dual coloured bracelets instead of the boring single colour. I even experimented with three colours combination that portrayed a tribal feel from the blue, pink and khaki which I liked so much. By adding some beads or charms which my ex-colleague does would further accessorise and personalise your bracelet if you are feeling adventurous.

More of a personal thoughts blog post instead of a tutorial since Youtube already have plenty of finger knitting videos available. Just some tips from a non expert right here would be that each ball of T-shirt yarn have different level of elasticity. The more elastic the yarn is, the less torturous it would be for your fingers since tension is required to prevent your final piece from looking like loose ropes, unless you wanted it that way.

You could also make these T-shirt yarns out of your old T-shirts as well if you intended to save money. Simply cut out your T-shirt in stripes, or joining different stripes with knots. Patterned T-shirts could turn out rather attractive when made into bracelets as well, be it using two (thin) or four (thick) fingers to ''knit''.

Be it bracelets, necklaces, scarfs or floor rug, just enjoy the finger knitting art and craft experience and have fun!

1 Dec 2017

Antoinette Christmas Collection 2017

A beautiful story always captivate my heart before my tummy. I enjoy hearing other people's stories as much as how I would enjoy narrating my own through blog posts. The festive mood has once again returned with a new Christmas theme menu finding its way back to Antoinette.

As Chef Pang wanted to create a magical and nostalgic feeling for everyone through his creations, his creative and artistic fairytale story started off with A Walk in the Forest (petit S$55.00 / grande S$110.00). Being a sucker for anything with chocolate, I loved how the cake evokes an enchanted feel with edible twigs, soil, leaves and mushrooms. Pairing this cake together with my mildly bitter yet addictive Antoinette's Iced Chocolate (S$7.00) lured me deeper into chef's enchanted realm. 

Probably halfway through a walk in the forest, one would experience Winter is Here (petit S$50.00 / grande S$100.00). It is a snow-white looking log cake (not featured in this post) that has coffee components in every aspects. 

Upon the arrival of winter, the Snow Globe (10cm S$15.00 / 15cm S$65.00) is formed and being the most attractive dessert that I have come across this season. Encased in the cute snow globe like a terrarium, I could not take my eyes off the miniature landscape crafted within. Besides bringing me joy, the dessert proved to be my top favourite that day since the cream cheese mousse was really light as the raspberry marmalade added a contrasting tartness.

I almost could not resist taking a bite into the Forbidden Fruit (S$12.00) that was crafted into the exact shape of an apple. A fruity dessert with almost all its component constitute from an apple. Not forgetting to mention the naughty looking Randolf the Squirrel (S$70.00) that was sculpted out of a block of chocolate. I would love to nibble on its wood textured block-body though.

As I got myself crazily excited over the desserts, I would not want to miss the festive savoury dishes I have tasted as well. Coffee Glazed Ham and the Laksa Roast Chicken were both somewhat comparable but my preference still went to the chicken dish that has a marinate that won me over. Ignoring my allergic to shrimps which was definitely used not sparingly in the laksa paste, it paired so well with the tender chicken flesh that could quickly becomes an addiction too.

I ended the meal with another glass of drink, the Yuzu Green Tea Bubble Bath which I caught sight from another guest. It has a yellow duckie floating atop on a foamy bed that I just had to pose for pictures with. At first I did not quite enjoy the unusual fruity-tea taste. Yet the more I drank, the more I enjoyed it. I even brought home the rubber duckie which could squeak when squeezed.

It was a wonderful start of my pre-Christmas experience and I have already started counting down to Chirstmas holidays!

(Note that the dishes I mentioned were my personal picks.)

Coffee Glazed Ham 1kg

Forbidden Fruit (S$12.00)
Laksa Roast Chicken 1.2-1.3kg

Chocolate Gianduja Ball Christmas Tree (S$95.00)

A Walk in the Forest (petit S$55.00 / grande S$110.00) 

Christmas Macarons (S$3.50 each / 6 pcs - S$19.00)

Yuzu Green Tea Bubble Bath

Christmas Stollen (petit S$9.00 / grande S$16.00
Festive Cookies (Raspberry Snowball, Meringue Kisses, Croquant, Almond Shortbread, Orang & Chocolate Checkered Cookie and Orange & Hazelnut Shortbread

Randolf the Squirrel (S$70.00)

21 Nov 2017

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2 and bartending workshops

 Picnic Wisma Atria

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2 was held at Picnic Wisma Atria from 4th to 5th November 2017. What attracted me to attend this event was the variety of rum and series of workshops conducted by bartenders from all over the world.

Throughout the 2 days, many workshops were lined up and it was my first hands-on attempt with  concocting cocktails. The first experience was with the "Francis Drake" which contains Ron Abuelo 7 years rum, passion fruit puree and giffard cinnamon syrup. A rather tropical drink which was a mild mix of sweet and sour.

The following workshop attempt was "Strawberry Batida" which contains Brugal Anejo, BOLS strawberry, fresh strawberry, lime wedges and basil leaves. I quite liked the fruity taste and the fragrance of the basil leaves. Chatted with the friendly bartender and he shared some rum knowledge with me, such as rum pairs extremely well with tropical fruits such as coconut, pineapple and passion fruits.

My friend later on ordered a cup of "Spice Up You Life" that contains Chalong Bay Cinnamon. The garnish was an thin slice of apple with spices and the cocktail was fairly potent. For, me since I have low alcohol tolerance, I had the Caipirinha (blueberry and blackberry) and requested for less of the Maracatu used in the drink. I wasn't expecting the drink to look so photogenic with its blue-reddish colour, garnished by the rose-cut strawberry, lime and blueberries. Not only appearance, the drink was bursting with fruity flavors, refreshing and easy to drink. The girl who prepared my drink (and strawberry) was so shy to pose for photo since my annoying friend teased her quite a bit.

Anyway, besides educating participants about different rum and their versatility, Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2 allowed us to explore/taste unique rum brands which might not be easily available in Singapore. Furthermore, the art of concocting a perfect rum cocktail showcased the skills of a bartender.  

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2

Ron Abuelo 7 years rum and cocktail "Francis Drake"
A bottle of Ron Abuelo 7 years rum and cocktail "Francis Drake"

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2
"Strawberry Batida" which contains Brugal Anejo

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2

"Spice Up You Life" that contains Chalong Bay Cinnamon
"Spice Up You Life" that contains Chalong Bay Cinnamon

Caipirinha (blueberry and blackberry) with a bottle of the Maracatu
Caipirinha (blueberry and blackberry) with a bottle of the Maracatu 

Rasa Fiesta Singapura Part 2

10 Nov 2017

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 Exhibit (1 - 17 Sept 2017)

The beach, sand and scotching hot sun were never friends of mine but for the sake of capturing artistically crafted sand sculptures, I tagged along with my friend to Sentosa. I brought my whines along as we made our way to the tentages specially set up to house 2,400 square metres of exhibition space on Siloso Beach.    

Not much of a traffic issue despite being a Saturday, probably thanks to the heat and sun as we walked through the firmly erected sand structures admiring and capturing photos of our favourites. These sands sculptures definitely reminded me of my trip to Huabin in China, popular for their ice/snow sculptures that reached storeys tall. The only difference was the temperature and I did not miss the -30 degrees celsius and wearing multiple layers of clothes.

There were many ushers stationed around and the exhibition was divided into 3 different zones.

Zone 1 - Our Sandsational Singapore (Singapore, Ho Say!) 

This zone features 15 sand sculptures inspired by the local culture, quirks and colloquial slangs. Examples would be "Blur like Sotong, Gabra like Zebra", "Jiak Zua" (To eat Snake) and "Kan Cheong Spider". Their images attached below.

Zone 2 - Sentosa International Sand Sculpting Championship

The 14 international sand master's masterpieces demonstrate their creative expressions of ‘Imagination’ through sand work. Examples would be "Tropical Splendor" and "Broken Heart".

Zone 3 - Shifting Sand 2

A showcase of interactive sand art pieces by JOOheng, which pays homage to his exhibition held at Sentosa’s Palawan Beach in 2010, when he became the first sand sculptor in Singapore to hold his own sand sculpture exhibition.  

Note that I only select and feature personal favourites to post below. Also do check out the fine detailings of some of these sand art that kept me staring for quite some time.  

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 (1 - 17 Sept 2017)

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 (1 - 17 Sept 2017)
So Jialat!

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 (1 - 17 Sept 2017)

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 (1 - 17 Sept 2017)
Blur like Sotong, Gabra like Zebra

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 (1 - 17 Sept 2017)

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 (1 - 17 Sept 2017)
Jiak Zua (To eat snake)

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 (1 - 17 Sept 2017)
Kan Cheong Spider

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 (1 - 17 Sept 2017)
Tropical Splendor

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 (1 - 17 Sept 2017)

Sentosa Sandsation 2017 (1 - 17 Sept 2017)
Broken Heart