Monday, January 28, 2008

doraemon looks on...

I noticed this safety poster in the elevator in Sal and Kai's building just the other day, though it has probably been there a while. I like that Doraemon makes an appearance, and that he's managing to wink and frown at the boy who's getting his finger caught in the elevator door. What a talented robot cat from the 22nd century he is.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

brazilian bbq birthday bash

The sign outside the Brazilian BBQ restaurant (which essentially consists of a buffet + meandering waiters offering large chunks of meat for patron consumption).
Anish (the birthday boy) and Kaiser with their miniature bowls of ice-cream.
A group shot by the restaurant ad. This was my idea, but my plans to have the giant slabs of meat as the photo centerpiece were foiled.
Then it was off to karaoke.
Anish and Kaiser singing their hearts out (probably some Backstreet Boys song), as Sal and I pose for the camera.

I don't think I've blogged much about karaoke before, though I do have an album devoted to it on Facebook, so I guess my feelings about the pastime are no secret. I like it a lot.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

crochet coffee cup cozy

New breed of coffee cozy:(yes, I went to Starbucks just to try it out...)

Templeton and cozy.

Another use...
You're a good sport, Templeton!

Monday, January 21, 2008

crocheting in circles

I gave myself a little experiment time with some new yarn and a crochet hook, and discovered that I can crochet in circles (or more accurately, spirals)! I'd always known it was possible, and had considered looking for a tutorial online a couple times... but it's always nice to figure something out on your own, even if it takes some time and requires a lot of learning from mistakes.

Here's my little circle.

As soon as I realized how easy it was to crochet circles, a whole slew of make-able round items came to mind. Hats, table cloths, tea cozies, hats... coffee cup cozies!!

Here's my coffee-cup-cozy-in-progress, which also works well as a Templeton-sized fez. I'll post a picture of the final product when it's done.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

frog dissection

This will probably never make it onto my "to make" list... I probably wouldn't be able to justify putting so much time into something that doesn't serve a well-defined practical purpose. That being said, I love this dissected fiber frog. I guess it appeals to the biologist in me...Link. I found it via this post on the Craft Magazine blog (which, if you haven't noticed, is a favorite of mine...)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

the brave one

No this isn't a movie review. I haven't even seen this movie. All I've seen is the Asian version of the movie poster (below), and just a little while ago, while in New Town Plaza, I saw some DVDs with the same cover.

So what is my reason for this post? Take a look at the picture below and see if Jodie Foster reminds you of anyone besides herself.

Have you had a chance to think it over?

I swear, is she not the spitting image of a young David Bowie?! Frightening, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

you rock, you rule

This is just way too cute... and it's striking me as hilarious right now, but that might be because I'm not fully awake yet.
Here's a link to the site where you can download this picture and learn how to stencil it onto a t-shirt. I might just have to give it a try...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

green power hike

My dad and I are planning to do the Green Power hike on March 1st. It's on the HK trail, which I hear is pretty tame compared to the MacLehose. Anyone else interested? We're hoping to do the 50k hike, but 25k and 10k are also available. Registration ends on January 25th.

I'm excited to have something to train for again! Haven't done much hiking lately, except for my regular route -- the hike mentioned in this ancient post. But, my dad and some others are planning to climb Sharp's peak next Saturday, and I think I'll go along. I've never hiked it, though I've seen it and observed it's steepness many a time. It's in Saikung, near Stage 2 of the MacLehose, and happens to be the mountain I'm always grateful not to have to go over...

Friday, January 11, 2008

seafood guide

I saw these little wallet-sized WWF seafood guides for the first time this evening at Kubrick.

In it, popular types of seafood are classified into three categories: "Recommended," "Think Twice," and "Avoid." The category under which each sea creature falls is determined by it's relative abundance in the ocean, and if it is raised in a fish farm (like much seafood these days), by how sustainable and ecologically friendly the farming methods are.

I think this is a great resource to provide to a seafood-crazed city like HK. I never liked seafood much as a kid, but as my tastes broaden, it's nice to know what delicacies get the ecological green light for consumption. Oh, and I was very disappointed to see shrimp in the "Avoid" category. Aside from the rock lobster (who made it onto the "Recommended" list), it looks like all other crustaceans are off limits.

"cats and dogs are not for (b)eating."

I'd seen the above print on notebooks before, but discovered it on a tote today, and of course could not resist...
There's even a little name tag on the side!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

muji love

I stopped by Muji today to buy some new socks, because I'd literally worn my last three pairs out (they all developed holes in the span of about a week... weird). I like their socks (along with pretty much everything else they sell), and discovered another cool thing about them: they're made from re-used yarn! So now I feel doubly good about the purchase. :)

And here are ma chaussettes together with the yummy Japanese snacks that I couldn't resist buying. I love Muji!


If I had the time and the inclination to get an extra part-time job, this would be it:

And they're hiring!!

It's very tempting. But I think it would take me a while to master technical Cantonese ice-cream vocabulary. Though I'm sure my Baskin-Robbins experience would help me at least get my foot in the door...

Monday, January 07, 2008

a daughter's treasure

I think I have located the ultimate symbol of filial piety... and among my own things, none the less! (let's just ignore the fact that it was buried deep in a box of all-but-forgotten items).

Look! A double-heart locket with my parents' pictures inside! And if you look closely, you'll notice that I even went to the trouble of sticking little colored rhinestones on each picture. Not sure what that was about...

My guess is that the locket is circa 1989 or 1990. And not sure when (or why!) I stopped wearing it. All I can say is definitely before 2006 -- otherwise Templeton's sweet face would be gazing at us from both sides. Hehe. Love you Mom and Dad! :)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

dear diary

This afternoon I felt motivated to sort through some of my old stuff, and as usual, the sorting was promptly delayed. I couldn't help but peruse some old year books and examine old photos. I also came across one gem that provided me with a good 15-minutes of reading: a diary, kept very briefly when I was eleven.

Here's an excerpt from January 17, 1992:

There were many juicier pages I could have included, but decided that people might not be too interested in the three different boys I liked at the time (though after a couple weeks, I'd very prudently narrowed the list down to a more conservative two), or my thoughts about menstruation. Seriously. Some very thought-provoking material here...

And now, a few reflections:

1. I've always thought of myself as a pretty decent speller, but (though it might not be obvious from the excerpt above) I found loads of evidence to the contrary. I also didn't seem to have any grasp of a certain minor writing convention commonly known as "the paragraph."

2. I like that until I was in high school, I thought that for a diary to truly be a diary, every entry had to begin with "Dear Diary" and signed "Love, Michelle." And for some reason, I related to my diary like it was some kind of hyper-critic, and therefore felt compelled to apologize for my various offenses (i.e. messy handwriting, not writing in 3 days, etc.). Where did I get these ideas?

3. In spite of all its cringe-worthiness, it's somehow refreshing to read about my pre-adolescent concerns. And though I am glad that a good deal of the silliness is behind me, it's nice to remember... and know that I really was eleven once.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

another coffee cozy

I've decided to include Templeton in as many photos as I can.

He is not amused by the new coffee cozy. (Any wild guesses who this one is for?)
Nor is he amused by the reverse side. By the way, does this fabric look familiar? I'm happy to have found a new way to use up extra scraps.

Friday, January 04, 2008


There's nothing like a trip to the post office to lift one's spirits.

Not that mine were particularly low. But I guess the combination of the holidays coming to an end, living as a virtual slug this past week -- not to mention the departure of my sister and her progeny this morning -- did leave me a little bit down.

But that was all before my trip to the post office.

Have I ever blogged about how much I love the post office? Maybe not. And maybe now's not the time to start. But I will say that I always feel a great sense of satisfaction after mailing something. In this case it was a couple of packages. I mailed the packages, and thus was already feeling great when I decided to go back up to the counter to purchase some stamps. If there's anything I love more than post offices, it's stamps. I used to collect them, and sometimes get the urge to continue the hobby. I enjoy old-fashioned correspondence, and also appreciate stamps as the tiny works of art that they are. Anyway, I was already in a great mood, and then the kind man behind the counter showed me these:

Needless to say, I was immediately overcome with joy.

They don't seem to commemorate anything or instill national pride, as stamps often are intended to do. But they sure are cute. In fact, I think if someone was to create the cutest stamp imaginable, this is what it would look like. Though, ok, it would probably have a baby seal dressed as a kitten and wearing the pink bunny slippers, but still, the general concept would be the same.

How heartwarming!

two more

I've been pleasantly surprised that the sewing machine has held out as long as it has. I got two more bags made!


They'll soon be in the mail, late Christmas presents for a couple friends in the US of A (who shall at this moment remain nameless...).

Thursday, January 03, 2008

amy's bag

As part of my Christmas gift to my sister, I offered to custom-make a bag for her. She chose the fabric, and I put it together (while she and the kids were at Disneyland). Here's the end result:

I like the way the ribbon looks as the handles. I was planning to use it on a bag eventually, but to be honest, hadn't even noticed that it matched the floral fabric. Good eye, Amy!

The lining is a brown floral fabric, with a small phone pocket (there's my little Huan-huan poking her fiery head out).

winter scene

You know it's cold when...

all four cats take to sleeping on my parents' [heated] water bed.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

eco-friendly coffee cozies

You know those little cardboard sleeves that provide insulation between your hand and that hot cup of coffee? Well, I recently saw a tutorial on how to make re-usable quilted coffee cozies, and figured since I know quite a few individuals (including myself) who frequent Starbucks and the like, I might as well try my hand at making some of the useful, not to mention "green," little things. The coffee cozies were originally going to be Christmas presents, but then my sewing plans became overwhelming (see previous post). So if you were expecting a gift from me and one never materialized, you can pretty much count on getting one of these in the near future:

Here's a close-up. I had fun trying my hand at embroidery... the cross-stitch-esque squares of the gingham certainly helped with the letter-forming.
Here's another shot of the inner fabric (I guess technically it's reversible), with a view of the quilting (done by hand -- a first for me!).

Here are a couple more that I worked on today. They're matching "his" and "hers" cozies for a married pair of Starbucks aficionados that I know.

A closer view.
So hopefully a few trees will be saved because of these (though I admit that the most environmentally-friendly option would be to bring one's own thermos or mug and forgo the paper cup altogether)... and I'll have something to keep me busy for the rest of the Christmas holiday!

Merry Christmas and Happy 2008!