Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Isabel had a friend's birthday party to attend back in January (actually, there were 5 parties to attend back in January)

And I wanted to include something handmade into the gift.

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The friend was horse crazy, according to her mother, so I made a barn-like stable to go with the pony she was getting.

Isabel pleaded with me to be allowed to play with it before having to wrap it up and head off to the party. It makes my heart warm when she is excited about something that I make, so I let her. 

It was adorable hearing her made-up conversations between her horses. 

The stable was made based on this dollhouse tutorial by UK lass in US
I did not follow the tutorial to the tee -- I was in a "wing it" mood and therefore glanced at the pictures and took it from there

The dimensions of the stable was increased to be able to fit the horse that it was made for, I used felt and cardboard, and the way I fitted the cardboard into the felt and secured it were....not conventional. 

The most fun portion of the project was in the details --- from the brooms to sweep the stable out, a pitchfork for spreading hay, to the individual stables inside.

I am very tempted to make a double story barn with window cutouts for Isabel
(so that the horses would actually be able to look outside, rather than staring dumbly at a blank wall -- although now I am talking about a toy being able to see, which may be a different set of problems altogether)

Sunday, February 17, 2013


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I had a very nice surprise waiting for me in my mailbox this weekend. 
(Well...technically, it was waiting in the post office. And has been so for the past two weeks. Hadn't had a chance to pop into the post office until now) 

Thank you very, very much, dear cousin!

I'm afraid that I almost started weeping when I flipped it open, and had to walk away to compose myself before continuing --   

This is my favorite picture in the calendar...
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Followed by February

I miss my family


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

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One of the activities that Isabel and I did over the past weekend when we were snowbound (besides lots of shoveling and long soaks in the tub) was crafting Valentine cards for her little friends at school

I decorated some, she decorated most.

The girls got lollipop butterflies (based on this) the boys got crappily made hearts (because it was Wednesday night when I finally got around to making those, and I was tired of churning up the same thing over and over again)
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And the teachers got little bee cards with a Burt's Bee lip balm based on the idea found here 

Because my printer is broken, I did not have the option of just printing off those cards, but it was more fun to hand draw/decorate it anyway (albeit not quite as pretty)

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Isabel with her V-day haul =)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year

A wish for us to you...

This is what's happening on my side of the world on this holiday

A far cry from the heat that usually accompanies CNY celebrations back home

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Our "reunion" dinner --

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I remember having rice and chinese sausages (along with other dishes) on the morning of the first day of Chinese New Year at my grandmother's house with all of my mother's siblings and their families prior to other extended family members arriving for their CNY visits. Then it is pretty much house-hopping for the rest of the week or so.

Our dinner for tonight -- an odd one to be sure, to celebrate, but it's a lot better than instant noodles, yah? (although I do love my indomie). My second attempt at a roast chicken, and my first attempt at gravy....yumm..the gravy.....

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Isabel's first experience of eating a chicken off the bone

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Still figuring out how it works...

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Yummy, she says!

Still wish we were back though.
Perhaps next year. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


I have a thing for the ballet. The dances, the dancers, the poise, the grace.

I wish I had been able to go for ballet classes when I was a kid.
Therefore, you bet that I am living vicariously through Isabel. =)

I have been looking for art for the house and have been obsessed with the following --

I keep going back to the artist's etsy shop to look and hem and haw....

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Aren't they gorgeous?!