30 August 2007

Today ... 50 years ago

The headline in the national newspaper was about a Singapore banker rescued from a kidnapping.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were given a grand welcome when they arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Airport.

The threat of communist subversive activities was very real
The Merdeka Stadium was opened by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first Prime Minister, our Father of Independence.
The cinemas were showing among others, Island in the Sun starring James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge and Joan Collins. While on Shaw, the local movie was Kaseh Sayang which starred Neng Yatimah, Saadiah and Haji Mahadi.
The Rex cinema had Unholy Wife which starred Diana Dors. And this was the attraction for movie-goers to watch this - exactly as was printed in the papers a few days before –
Ladies! Do your measurement compare with Diana Dors ... 37-23-35? If so, one months guest tickets will be awarded to the first 6 ladies attending tonight's premiere. Also - all ladies with blonde hair will be guests of the management tonight
We all know what will happen if such words are used today, don't we?
Dignitaries from the world over were in town for a celebration. And the whole country was waiting eagerly for 31 August 1957 when the Union Jack will be lowered and the flag of a new nation will be raised.
… and I was born today, 50 years ago, on the eve on Malaysia's (previously Malaya) independence from the British.
Happy 50th Anniversary of Independence, Malaysia - MERDEKA!

To know more about Malaysia, click here

24 August 2007

A First Using Needle

I first learned tatting using shuttles and don't know any other way, until I found tatting on the internet. That was when I found out about tatting with needles ... I also found out about cro-tatting, but that is for another time.

I think I am getting along okay with using shuttles so I decided on the next thing that I should try, learn how to needle-tat. I couldn't find any needles in the local stores and had to order them online (from Georgia's store). It was not that difficult to learn the basics of making the ds, rings, chains and joins, i.e. after I got used to holding the needle and how to handle the thread. Well ... it is different from the way of using shuttle.

And ta... da.... my first completed work ... a simple rings-and-chains bookmark.

The pattern for this is from Dreams of Lace site. I used Manuela size 10 for this which fits the needle that I am most comfortable with right now. I dare not try the two finer ones .... scared that the needle might break, :D. I still need to get my tension right for needles, because I tend to close the ds tight when shuttle-tatting.

This is a start, woo.... wooo... can't wait to work on patterns with those beautiful Celtic designs. But that won't be so soon. Have lots more to learn about needle tatting. But one thing for sure, unpicking is very easy, he ...he ... he

14 August 2007

Thread exchange

I participate in a thread exchange organised by Kathy Lowe and was given five exchange partners. I have received some wonderful thread most of which I have never used before for the the simple reason I cannot find them here except on the INS - and I don't buy stuff online very much.

Bridgitte sent me some Valdani thread in perle cotton # 12 and and Valdani quilting thread 35 wt, and so did Kathy. There was also a spool of buttonhole silk (Amann) from Brigitte which was heaven to tat with.

From Sylvia, I received some Gutterman pure silk, Altin Basak 50 and Manuela 20 in beautiful gold colour. And Abby has also sent me two samples of Altin Basak 50 in beautiful pink and pale blue-pink combination colours.

I have not finished trying out all of them yet, but here is a picture of what I have. The motif that I used is from the book Tatting Pattern and Designs by Blomqvist and Persson. As I was working them, I realised that they are very much like the motif of the pyramid orchid mat that Laura has made. It is a beautiful motif. Now I can understand why Laura can't stop making them.

The second from the top is the Valdani 35wt from Brigitte. It was difficult working with it at the beginning, but it got better and I quite enjoy working with. In fact, I enjoyed it a lot that I bought a spool of quilting thread to try working with fine thread. The thread is Sulky 30wt and the motif from this thread is the one right on top.

This dark coloured one is using the Amann buttonhole silk from Brigitte.

This pink one is using the Altin Basak 50 from Sylvia, which is another wonderful thread to tat with. The other Altin Basak that I received from Abby are in close shades of pink. I think I can make a bigger mat using all these together.

This purple-green variegated is from Kathy, a Valdani Perle cotton size 12. I have never tatted using perle cotton before. I think the shape holds up very well.

There are a few more thread that I have yet to try. The vibrant multicoloured Manuela is from Dorcas, who also sent me some beads in the same colour shades. I don't have a motif for using this yet because I want to put the beads in. The gold-coloured Manuela is from Sylvia and the green variegated Valdani is from Kathy. The two samples from Abby is in the middle.

Thank you to all my exchange partners. And thank you, Kathy for organising the exchange.

8 August 2007

Earrings and sofa bed

Someone took a look at my hanging ornaments and asked if I can turn one into a pair of earrings. I did, and came up with this pair.

Still working with the idea of tatting up a plastic ring but, instead of putting a tiny motif in the centre, I strung up some beads for the picots. I know this is no where near the beautiful jewelery pieces that Marilee is making, but it is a start.

And, during one of those (rare, :p) spring cleaning sessions, I found this picture.

It is a picture of my room in the Henry Price Building when I was at the University of Leeds so many years ago.

But the thing that I wanted to show is the bedspread which I made. And the bed is really a sofa-bed and there were no bedsheets - we were only given sleeping bags to sleep in at night, sob.. sob. During the day, the sleeping bag was to be stashed away in the cupboard and the bed pushed against the wall to be turned into a sofa.

But sometimes, during the middle of winter when the snow was heavy and the central heating wasn't really working, I'd just feel like curling up in bed with a book or something - and a sleeping bag just didn't work so well. So, I crocheted this bed cover which I also used as a blanket. I can't remember what type of yarn that I used but it was made up of many hexagon pieces joined up together.

I wish I can remember where I put it now.......