Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Packing and Unpacking

One of the challenges of living overseas is the packing and unpacking. Not just the moving but also every trip home. I am still mourning the loss of those 20 pounds when the airline baggage limit went from 70 to 50 pounds. Do you realize that means with 3 of us and 6 bags that I lost 120 pounds of things I can bring back? Now the weight limit is 50 pounds and so as I am packing I am putting the luggage on the scale. As I am packing, I am taking things out of boxes -- the toothpaste box has lots of filler space--and then I am filling in the space in boxes with other things. That is great especially for little things.

The one thing you need to do is remember what you put in those boxes and also unpack those boxes when you return.

Today I opened a box of cream and discovered 2 boxes of Calms Forte--we have thought we had more than the 1 box we were using--and some birthday brads for scrapbooking. That was not from our March trip either. That would have been last July. Maybe I should go look through some more boxes in my medicine drawer.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bow Tie Quilt

This lap quilt, movie night quilt was started November 2005 when my mom came to visit. We peiced using various solid scraps that I had. We started to quilt it and I had grand plans of quilting just a bit every evening and it would quickly get done.

I am currently in the mode of finishing projects and this was one of those projects that has been hanging around here and needed to be finished. I am thrilled to have it finished.

It is hand quilted. It is not going to win any prizes but it will keep us warm.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We are fine

Yes, there was an earthquake in the area. I will admit that we did not feel it. I do know what earthquakes feel like. After the 9-21, from a few years ago I know.

Thanks for asking and being concerned.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Baby Shower Gifts

Years ago I made a pattern for a bib. I found one that I liked that was a nice size and traced that pattern. Since then I have been making bibs for baby gifts. They are easy to mail and just a little something to say congratulations! I have fun digging through my fabric boxes and finding fabric. The mom's group was having a triple shower and so I decided to make bibs. Of course, in the middle of sewing my machine needed to be repaired but a friend loaned me her machine so I was able to finish them.

This is a pink stripe with teacups. I got the pink stripe from a bathroom that I hemmed and it was cute and I just couldn't throw it away. I added the teacup fabric because it needed to be pieced.Then I made brup clothes and boy bibs for the ones having boys.
I opted for a simple gift tag and skipped the envelope because I am conserving envelopes. I am having so much fun with the onesie stamp. I stamped on printed paper, embossed, and cut it out and put it on the gift tag.

Three simple gifts. Well, we (my friend and I) divided up the diapers from the diaper cake and a few other things we had gotten and included the bibs and burp clothes and we had a gift or in this case three gifts.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Board Book to Scrapbook

I was inspired by someone on Craftster forum talking about making scrapbooks from board books. I decided to try it. Miss K had a book that had a little music button but the battery died but instead of just dying and no longer plays it died making a noise that is enough to drive a momma nuts so I pulled it off the book and decided to try and make a scrapbook.

The first thing you need to do is sand the pages a bit so the glue will stick.Then comes the point of gluing paper onto the book. I used some 8x8 paper that I had. I did learn that you need to leave some room so the pages will turn.
I then decorated the book. I used various pictures of the grandchildren from Easter including a picture of the momma with a baby bump.
Mom received it and loved it. She said she is going to look for bargain board books. This could be addicting.

A Hip Handbag

For Christmas I received a book called Hip Handbags. In there was a pattern for a bag made from silk and using chopsticks for handles. I had bought some silk last year when we were deep in China. I then bought chopsticks in the market in the capital city and I was ready to make the bag.

Working with silk was the difficult part. I did finish it and am happy with it. It was not lined and I am wondering if I would make it a lined bag if that would make working with silk easier. It was hard turning down the hem at the top.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It worked -- Cream of Tartar

Miss K received a magic book for Easter. The one where you use a special marker and the pictures appear. I decided that would be great to talk with us on Sundays except that the marker if it gets on clothing leaves a mark. I looked on the website and they said to use a rust remover that you can buy in the supermarket. That might work if you lived in America and had various kinds and brands of stain removers. I looked in a few supermarkets. There were various things from the UK, Japan and Australia but nothing that said removes rust. I tried baking soda because that will remove rust from some surfaces. That did nothing.

Someone on a forum suggested cream of tartar and sun. I had to wait a few days for the sun but I tried it and guess what -- it took the spots out. I am thrilled. That is a household hint to remember.

Only 3 days

not 10 for the lipstick to get 10 minutes south on the train. I received a call yesterday.

I actually know where my Club Clinique VIP card is. If I spend $5000 (US$650) I get a free gift. It amazes me how much money is spent on make-up and such here. There is no way I will spend that much money on Clinique in a million years not because I don't like Clinique but because I just don't spend that much money on make-up.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My favourite colour of lipstick

I am probably like most people and have a favourite colour of lipstick. I have worn this colour for years. It goes with everything I wear. I guess that is why it is my favourite colour -- Clinique Chocolate Raspberry. I found it here in Asia years ago and learned that it was a colour that they only sold in Asia. No problem, I have just bought it all these years while here and always had a stash.

A few weeks ago I ran out and also discovered that I did not have any in my stash. I stopped by the Clinique display in the mall. They still had it on the display so I was in luck until I learned they were out of stock but the good news they would be back in stock in a few weeks. I bought something to wear but kept wishing for Chocolate Raspberry.

Yesterday was a few weeks later and we were in that mall so I decided see if it is in stock. I walked in and looked and they didn't have it on the display. I asked. She looked, no, they didn't have it. I had just dropped off my sewing machine for the 2nd repair in the past 3 months and I was not happy because of course, I had sewing I needed to do. That was my mood.

I told her "but a few weeks ago you told me it would be in stock." She got tired of dealing with me because I was stretching her English. She turned me over to someone else who told me I could check the other stores. "Okay," I asked, "where are they?" She then offered to call the other stores. New Town Plaza had it. Yeah, I told her I would take 2 one to use now and one for my stash.

Driving to and parking at New Town Plaza is easy. We had just done it the night before. She said they could send it over to Festival Walk. We are in and out of that mall a few times a week. "Please, send it over here." I signed my name on the hold information and then asked one more question, "when will it be here?" Her answer -- about 10 days.

I was actually nice and didn't say anything. I was close to getting my favourite lipstick and I didn't want to jeopardize that.

10 days -- New Town Plaza is 2 stops away on the train. Less than 10 minutes. I can get an airmail package from the USA in less than 10 days. A container ships from Hong Kong to LA in 11 days and my 2 sticks of lipstick will take 10 days to go south 10 minutes on the train. Some things I will never understand.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Stocking up my card box

I needed to stock up my card box with some birthday cards. I got the inspiration for this card from Julie. I was told by a friend to always decorate the card so I did it by just punching a square and now I have a fun summery birthday card.

These are so simple but I think so cute. I love the green and pink ribbon. I love using ribbon that I find. The "Happy Birthday" paper I have had for too long and so it is time to use it.
Now I am ready for some birthdays. It is nice having them in my box so when I am busy and forget which often seems to happen I have a card ready.

Friday, May 2, 2008

What is a foreigner to do? - Warning this is a vent!

The other day I was in the supermarket and noticed various healthy foods -- rice milk, organic foods and other things had little signs that said something like "this product might not be sold after 29 May because of nutrional labeling". When I got to the checkout I picked up a leaflet and read it.

It has left me scratching my head to the stupidity of the government. Oh, I wasn't supposed to say that was I because I am to respect government. Well, you might do the same when you hear what is happening. The current unique mandatory nutrition labelling scheme (everything here is a scheme of some sort but that is a British term) is currently being review by the Legislative Council. There is a exemption for products that sell less than 30,000 units per year. Unfortunately, the exemption will not apply to small volume products that make nutrition claims, such as those that are labelled "transfat-free" (there goes Crisco), "contains omega-3", "25% less fat" (that doesn't bother me because we eat full fat), "low sodium", and "cholesterol-free" to name but a few. That means that healthier products, organic products, and products favoured by ethnic minorities (that would be me -- I never thought of myself as an ethnic minority) may disappear from sale because it will not be economically viable to nutrient test and re-label these products. All of these products already have extensive nutrition labelling that complies with the labelling laws of the country of origin.

That was long and some of it was copied from the leaflet.

So what this means -- I can't buy healthy foods but can continue to buy junk food. I can't buy the baked potato crisps (can you tell those are from the UK), I can't buy organic Wheatabix which is a staple breakfast cereal here. Yikes - yesterday Libbey pumpkin was included on the display of things leaving or possibly leaving. Not sure why.

So the frustration what can I do? I could try stockpiling but really with only 700 sq feet how much of that can I do. There is a petition and I asked if foreigners can sign and I did sign it.

So the challenge is what to do as a foreigner and I don't have the answer.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's beginning to look like

Christmas gift tags. I know it is only April well, now May but I decided after last year's rush in wrapping gifts and needing to quick find or make name tags that I was going to start early this year. I just cut some small pieces of paper and then used my various Christmas stamps - snowflakes on kraft paper, candy cane, Christmas balls, mittens, stars, and holly. I have one "to/from" stamp that I have had for years but it worked. They are finished and put away with the wrapping paper.

Next I am going to make some more stockings but I do have a few other projects that will need to be done before that.