Stash-buster Challenge, Project #3: Colourful granny squares

Hi there.

I’ve been meaning to post the finished baby beanie that is my second project for the Stash-buster challenge. So here it is:

finished baby beanie

The pattern indicates that the finished beanie should measure 6.5inches. As you can see, mine is just 6inches. I don’t know if it’s going to be problem later on, but, aren’t newborns tiny, right? This should fit.

For my third project, I haven’t really thought much about it. I was still recovering from our weekend kite-flying activity outside of Phnom Penh. We flew kites for three hours under the baking sun! And not just ordinary kites – they were handmade by my husband and fitted with a camera to take pictures while up in the air. It was worth it, sunburns, dusty feet, sweaty clothes and all!

Anyways, back to the project. For my baby project, I wanted to make a pair or two baby booties but could not find patterns that I like. I think I need to search more so I just tossed this idea aside and looked for something else to do so I can share it here. And guess what I’ve finally decided to make… granny squares. A lot of them, actually.

stash-buster-challenge-granny-squaresstash-buster-challenge-stacks-of-granny-squares

I love mixing and matching the different yarn colours. They look really great, aren’t they?
I was also crocheting from memory. The pattern was taught to me by my mum and the very first one that I “mastered” when I was beginning to crochet 🙂 I think it’s a pretty simple pattern and very easy to follow. I’ve made a lot of these way back so I know the pattern by heart. Funny thought that while crocheting the squares, I was feeling a bit nostalgic. Thoughts about the many summers spent with my mum and sisters, sat together and learning how to crochet, flashed in my head. Please excuse the sappiness, it must be the hormones, hahaha.

Now, what to make of these again?
I think the squares will make a nice cover – of what, you ask, of just about anything. Hahaha. It can be a table runner, sofa cover, or even a laptop sleeve or something. But I just don’t know how to attach the squares altogether 🙁

Any suggestions? Please do. I would love to hear from you. Meanwhile, I’m going to visit other Stash-buster challenge participants’ sites and hopefully I can find inspiration from their works.

stash buster1

Show-Off-Your-Shell-Button

Litratong Pinoy #38: Kalikasan (nature)

Gusto ko lang ibahagi sa inyo itong mga titik ng isang awiting pinamagatang Awit ni Inang Kalikasan (Mother Nature’s Song). Ang awiting ito – na sinulat, nilapatan ng tono at binigyang buhay ni Talulot – ay nanalo ng ikatlong pwesto sa PENRO Environmental Songwriting Contest na ginanap noong taong 2005. 

awit ni inang kalikasan

matagal na akong

naghihintay sa’yo

ilang taon, ilang siglo

ang hinahanap ko para lang mapansin

ang aking damdamin

kailan ka ba, kailan ka ba magigising?

ilang bagyo, baha’t unos

bago ka kikilos

ilang dusa’t sakuna bago mo itatama

nawasak na, nasira na ang tanging buhay ko

ngunit parang ika’y walang kibo

kailan maririnig ang aking daing

luha’y dulot nang yong pagkasakim

kailan mo diringgin ang aking hiling?

nais kong makita pa ng bagong henerasyon

ibigin mo ibigin mo ako ngayon

yaman ko’y para sa iyong bukas

kalinga mo ay aking lakas

kaya naman tugunin ang aking hiling

ibigin mo ibigin mo

baka ako ay mawala

Hahayaan ba nating ang lahat ng ito ay mawala? 



flat Cambodian landscape
The palm trees of Cambodia


Floating Village, Prek Toal copy
Flooded forests and a floating village in Prek Toal, Siem Reap


himalayan range4
The snowcapped Himalayan range, including Mt. Everest


beaches of phuket
Beaches of Phuket, Thailand



basiao beach
Virgin Beach, Brgy. Basiao, Ivisan, Capiz




somewhere between china and vietnam blk
Karst formations in Guilin ang Yangshuo, China

Wordless Wednesday #29: Buddhism and Forestry

buddhism and forestry2

Check out other Wordless Wednesday photos.

n.b.: Please excuse me, I know it is supposed to be wordless but I couldn’t help but explain the link between Buddhism, Cambodia’s religion, and the forests.

A lot of things has been said about the forests of Cambodia and one thing is for sure – the forests are rapidly disappearing with the country’s opening to a market-oriented economy. Here’s a section of what I wrote years ago:

Forest cover has decreased from over 70% in 1970 to around 35% today (depending on which source you are using), and many globally important mammals such as kouprey, tigers, and elephants are on the path to extinction. The forests, upon which local people depended for firewood, medicines, building materials, and religious or spiritual value, have been ruthlessly destroyed by logging companies.

Given the traditional prestige of Buddhist monks among the population and the natural ecological orientation of Buddhism as a belief system and way of life, monks are a prime target group for environmental education and awareness (EE) programs in Cambodia. They are capable of playing an important social role in guiding local populations in understanding, protecting, and improving the environment and in exerting moral pressure on those abusing the environment to change their behavior. A complementary relationship exists between pagodas (the wats and the watarams – the temples and their compounds) and their villages, instructing and providing guidance for the local populations on ethical and practical aspects of environmental protection, management, and enhancement.

To read more, you can find the whole post about my work with the Cambodian Buddhist monks here.

4-day road trip

Ok, so yeah, I’m back now.
I know I’ve left everyone guessing when I suddenly “disappeared” this past weekend.

Don’t fret. R and I took advantage of the long weekend last week. Monday was a national holiday and, as if not enough, we didn’t go to work last Friday when we started our impromptu road trip of the southeastern coasts of Cambodia driving to our first destination, Sihanoukville.

More on this later. I would like to share with you R’s post in the Cambodia Maps blog about our road trip.

MrsC and I had a long weekend away this week. We took ourselves on a 700km tour of the South East of Cambodia. Along the way we came across two places that are “undergoing development” and may soon be changed beyond recognition.

Firstly, some of the limestone mountains at Kampong Trach are being sold to quarrying concessions, and, although this is a comparatively small scale operation, it’s damaging the landscape in a noticeable way. The approach and entrance to the swimming cave has already been spoiled, how long before the rest go the same way?

Secondly, an American company has bought the rights to develop Angkaol’s “secret beach”. Reportedly, they already have permission for the development from CDC. How long before the fishing villages under the palms turn into a small Sihanoukville?

Here’s the rest of the story.

Out with the (incandescent) lightbulbs!

So I woke up to a fine morning today, at 8am, which is very unusual! I usually get up late in the weekends and I consider 8am to be still an “unholy” hour. Anyhow, I got up and automatically reached out for the TV remote control, turned the tv on, and slowly headed to the bathroom for my morning ritual. While brushing my teeth, a particular news item caught my attention:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Australia is banning the use of incandescent lightbulbs and opted for the more efficient flourescent lightbulbs all over the country. Accordingly, the government hopes to reduce harmful gas emissions by the year 2012. For details, click here.

The Federal Government estimates replacing the old bulbs with compact fluorescents in homes could cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 800,000 tonnes a year in 2008-12. Australia’s emissions in 2004 totalled 564.7 million tonnes.
– The Sydney Morning Herald

This news actually came out last month and it is admirable indeed that the Australian government is giving attention to the problem of climate change. Hats off to the Aussies!

Wait… does this mean PM Howard is going to sign the Kyoto Protocol?

Oh well, at least the Australian government is taking practical steps towards addressing this environmental issue. I hope other countries will follow.


NB: Lightbulb photo nicked from www.hankselectric.com.