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Craftsy

I am sure a lot of you have heard about Craftsy. I have heard about it for more than two years now and finally have the courage to test it out. In the past I have relied a lot on free stuffs on internet to learn more about sewing and knitting. I still use it a ton but I also want to learn from the experts, though it means I need to shell out some money for it. I think the investment will more than offset the knowledge that I will gain. I have signed up for two classes: Sewing with Knit with Meg McElwee and Sew the Perfect Fit taught by Lynda Maynard 

I am still working on Sewing with Knit and so far so good. Her delivery is not superb but I don’t mind because public speaking is also not my cup of tea. I think she is very knowledgeable and that’s why I pay for the class. What I like about this platform is not only learning from the expert but the ability to go back and review the material long after the class is over. 

Being someone who is working in a tech industry. I am really impressed by the story behind Craftsy. Wall Street Journal had an article on it a few months ago. It was started by a few guys who used to work at Ebay. They’re interested in taking learning to a new level and started by offering a few hobby-related online classes such as wine tasting, scrapbooking, quilting etc. What they quickly learned is that quilting classes were their best sellers and they have since focused on more quilting, sewing, knitting and cake decorating. I am amazed that none of these founders are avid crafters, they just have a good business sense and were able to turn crafters’ demand into something really cool. one woman said that this offering has saved her a ton of money because she now does not need to fly across the country to learn cake decorating from the master. I wish Craftsy is located here in Bay Area so I can work for them

If you are interested in learning more about it, be sure to check out Yarn Thing Podcast. Marly Bird has a one-hour interview with Craftsy founders. 

OK, this is really addictive. I think I need to go to Old Navy, load up on cheap plain tees and whip up a few more. Sorry, picture quality is not great. it’s really tough taking picture with the guy comes and grabs your equipment, whatever it is. You see, i have to distract him with another gadget.Image

Have you guys watched it? I am so addicted to this show. I love that each contestant is so kind to one another, no back stabbing and just no negativity in general. I also love that it shows some intro to home sewing, how pattern work and sewing history. I love love Lauren, Ann and Sandra…I do hope they win

Boy Shirt Applique

 

Happy Spring…This is my other attempt to blog. It’s been hard but it’s getting easier. Ben is now almost 16 months and a very active toddler. He sleeps well, eats well and is generally a happy kid. My job is now a lot less demanding so I have a few hours every night to craft…what a bliss I tell ya. But, it is still hard to take good photographs of my crafts since Ben would try to snatch my camera with gusto. 

Case in point, I try to snap a few pics of him wearing a simple applique shirt that I whipped up a few nights ago, not easy. I have to coax him with watering can. The whole thing takes 20 minutes and just one decent photo

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The airplane applique pattern is free from Sarah Jane

It’s very easy and fun, I plan to whip up a few more applique shirts for this dude. 

I basically use Heat-n-Bond (some bloggers suggested the purple package but I wasn’t understanding what they were saying so i got the red package which works just fine though the package say if purple one is better if you want to add stitches) and fuse it to a fabric. cut the pattern out of the fabric, peel the fusible and attach it to the shirt. I then stitch the perimeter all around using regular straight stitch and embroider the swirl with split stitch and voila it is done. 

I plan to share a few more items that I made recently, two kai shirts for this dude from Weekend Sewing,, two washi dress for me, and three knit sweater for me….I have been productive :)

 

 

 

Wow, it’s been seven months since I dropped off the face of the blogsphere. It’s been a tiring but rewarding seven months. My baby is growing like weed, he is ten months old now and sleeping through the night. Hooray for sleep training. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be crafting anymore because all I could think about was sleep, sleep and sleep.

So, to get back to the swing (sewing) of thing, I chose a simple but satisfying project, the uber-popular Tova top by Jenny Gordy. It took me, well, two weeks to finish this project. Not bad considering I could only sew on friday and saturday night. That right, while some of you are out partying, I stay in and sew. Anyhow, I love how it turns out and been wearing it multiple times.

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The fabric is a soft cotton I got from my trip to Indonesia a few years ago, it is like a softer version of quilting cotton. I wasn’t sure that the busy pattern will work out but it does. It’s very autumnal but still cheery at the same time. The pattern is quite easy to follow and oh my god, I love the FO that Jenny puts in her blog even more. I love any garments that Jenny makes, so simple and effortless. I think I plan to make a dozen more Tova with different fabric, that’s how much I love it.

Aside from Tova, I also made a bucket hat for my baby. I made it a few months ago but because he is 90th percentile in head size, this hat is almost too small for him. This pattern is so easy, perfect for me to warm up to sewing again

Here he is wearing the hat while visiting a pumpkin patch

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New Hobby

You know, the ambition to craft every single day before the end of my maternity leave is not happening. The baby is keeping me on my toes and choosing to go back to work at the busiest time means I have to do a lot of legwork to avoid unnecessary all nighters once I am in the office. So what a girl to do to decompress? Well, I am thankful for pumping time because I get to have an uninterrupted 7 x 15 = 105 minutes/day of wandering on the net while pumping. But, there are only so many craft blogs that I can read.

Thank God I have not run out of stuffs to read. I pick up food porn instead, that’s right, I’ve been reading a ton of cooking/baking/eating blogs especially Southeast Asian food blogs. Being far away from home makes me crave my comfort food. Additionally, some of those bloggers are very knowledgeable about the history/story behind the dish. Long story short, I learn a lot. Here are my favorites

Ieat Ishoot Ipost. This is a very funny and informative blogs about eating in Singapore, mostly hawker food plus some fine dining here and there. The author, Dr. Leslie Tay (that’s right, the dude is an MD), not only reviews places to eat in Singapore but also tells the story/history behind each joint. I learn a lot about how immigrants from China in 19th and 20th century shape the Singapore food culture today as we know it

IndoChine Kitchen. I love this blog because the author is based in Medan, the city where I grew up. Each recipe featured in her blog is accompanied by gorgeous step-by-step photos. Every single dish looks yummooo and makes me drool. People often ask me what is Indonesian food and I always have a hard time coming up with an enticing answer. This blog solves my problem. Go check it out if you want to find out more about what is Indonesian and Indonesian Chinese cooking

Rasa Malaysia awesome cooking blog and I have tried many recipes from this blog. Totally kick ass

Ravenous Couple, the blog that makes me appreciate and want to learn more about Vietnamese cooking

Bentolicious, all about Bento making by Lia based in Jakarta. A total eye candy…

Mochachocolata Rita, food blogger based in Hong Kong. She features places to eat in HK and recipe for yummy home cooked meals

Eating Asia Husband and Wife duo writing about eating in Asia. Blog posts have the journalistic flare to it coz these folks write for new york times

David Lebovitz, well this is not Southeast Asian food blog. David is an ex-dessert chef at Chez Panisse who is now based in Paris. His blog feature life in Paris and recipes. I have a soft spot for everything french so I am loving it. Plus, I am in love with his book The sweet life in Paris, so many LOL moments.

 

I also just discover a few more and will slowly go through them as I pump.

Little Teochew Another cooking blog based in Singapore

Indonesia Eats for when I need to brush up on authentic Indonesian dish

My Cooking Hut by a Malaysian food blogger based in London

What’s your favorite foodie blogs?

On a slightly different note, I was checking my pumping log. Holy cow, I have pumped about 1837 oz milk and my baby has almost doubled his birth weight. I shall give myself a pat on the back.

 

 

 

FO: Cosette Wrap

Let see how long I can keep this blogging thing-y going. I have a few weeks left before I have to bring home the bacon. Till then, I plan to squeeze in as many crafty projects as possible in the midst of caring for the bub and crazy pumping schedule, did I mention that I pump exclusively coz baby boy just won’t latch on?

Anyway, I finished this wrap (my first ever, yay) a few weeks before he arrived.

cosette wrap

Pattern: Cosette wrap by Alana Dakos

Yarn: Sanguine Gryphon Free Range, sadly this yarn is discontinued and I forget the colorway, let’s just call it honey, shall we?

Manos del Uruguay Rittenhouse for the picot edge

Needle: size 9

I am not a wrap person and often time can’t find a proper moment to wear it being in California and such. I mostly spend my time at the comfort of my suburb in San Jose, which is hardly freezing cold and this winter is especially warm. So, the jury is still out whether It’ll get a decent flying time or it is just a one hit wonder and I shouldn’t be spending my precious dollar and time in wrap/shawl project. Having said that, it does help perks up my otherwise plain jane wardrobe

The pattern is very simple and shaped by short row. The only thing is to make sure to track the short rows with a bunch of stitch markers. The short row compensates for the tedious stockinette stitch throughout. I love that it is finished with a picot edge, totally elegant.

The Sanguine Gryphon yarn has a lovely color but a bit itchy, not as buttery as merino wool that I am now accustomed to. I like that it pops out when I wear it with a plain old black or white t-shirt.

You see that bump right there in the picture, I finally come to terms with the fact that it’ll take time for it to go back to its former glory. I was distraught when I ran into a co-worker who thought that the bun was still in the oven three weeks after I gave birth. I am still breast-pumping, so dieting is not an option. I try to exercise regularly to burn it off as much as I can, mostly doing zumba and cardio kickboxing, i do see my weight goes down by the week. This bump is another reason why I hesitate on sewing projects at the moment. I now fit right back into my pre-pregnancy low rider jeans but have a few more pounds to shed before I can fit into my dresses and skirts.

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