Messy Monday…

… and Tuesday, too!
Not many of you here know how much of a postcard-and-stamp junkie and a huge fan of snail-mails I am. Nothing beats the feeling of writing down greetings or thoughts on a piece of paper (or postcard), sending them, and receiving something in return. I love sniffing the stationary (just I like what I do with the pages of books) and looking at the unique stamp designs, too. It’s a hobby that began with pen pal writing when I was in grade school that went on till I was in uni. Letters and postcards came few when I was uni but I kept it going. It only stopped when I graduated and started working.

These are the contents of one box only... two more are waiting.
These are the contents of one box only… two more are waiting.

As some of you have known, I resumed collecting postcards and stamps after quitting my job in 2008. I did it so as to drive boredom and homesickness away while I was adjusting to the abrupt change – from a working expat into a home-maker living in Cambodia. It’s been three years since I started with Postcrossing and I am really having fun, learning about countries that I never thought existed and corresponding with interesting people  through snail mail, and yes, we do connect via social networking, too. The blog I created specifically to showcase all the postcards,  Postcards Crossing, received a lot of traffic and followers and it’s gaining page rank rapidly. I sort of  slowed down on postcard swapping on  my third year because I could not keep up with the private exchanges… the cost of stamp has gone up and there were some instances where I got ripped off by the post office staff and encountered cheating swappers. I’m still open for swaps but only selectively so the postcards and FDCs still keep coming.  My aim is to receive postcards and covers from all the countries in the world and I am nowhere near the mark yet.

Anyhoo, it was raining yesterday and I found myself with nothing to do after my husband left for work.  I thought it would be great to spend the rainy day re-arranging  the postcards (finally!). I had been planning to do this all the while but, as you know, there are always better things to do (like sleeping, hahaha), my lazy self always reasons out.  Okay, time to go now. I finished sorting the postcards and covers and FDCs by country yesterday. This afternoon, I’m making albums for them. I was inspired by my good friend, Redlan. He makes his postcards albums by himself. In fact he has a DIY posted in his blog, Redlan’s Postcards. Go check it out.

Photo Hunt 059: Granny Squares

Several months ago when I had lots of free time in my hands, I picked up crocheting again to drive homesickness and boredom away. I started making doilies, flowers, and scrunchies and other other stuffs. When I acquired a short-term consultancy work and got busy again, all of these stuffs were stashed in a box, including these unfinished granny squares:

granny squares2-8x6 (1)

I was too ambitious, I guess. I thought I could crochet enough granny squares and sew them all together to make it into a sofa cover within six months that I wasn’t doing anything. I was hoping I could send this to my mother as a present but back pains stopped me from finishing my project. I don’t know long it will take me to finally complete this project but I’m trying to crochet at least 10 squares in a week. Let’s see what happens in the coming months.

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Dabbling in graphics design

What started as a fascination for blogging led me to tinker with my blog’s template codes, and my search for fancy fonts and template designs had me accidentally venturing into digital scrap-booking and graphics designing.

As a starter, I do not have any formal trainings related to these stuff but I what I love about the Internet is that it provides me with all the online resources that I need. Graphic design books come far and few here in Cambodia and the prices are repressive. Thank heavens for online tutorials and Google searches because they are treasure troves of everything I want to learn as a newbie.

It is incredibly fun to just let loose of my creativity using my imagination, computer and mouse – a very pleasant surprise since I have no inkling I had a bit of creativity running through my veins! Creative din pala ako if only I allowed myself to be. And take note, I am not colour-blind, too. Hah, what a relief! On the other hand, it also helps that I have like-minded friends (you know who you are) who have generously given me more resources, practical tips and taught me some useful tricks. With that kind of support and show of enthusiasm, how could I not learn?

Without further ado, let me just show off what I had done recently. I know I have a lot more to learn and I’m going to do just that. By no means I claim to be an expert because I’m millions of miles from being so but this is a good start for me… we have to start from somewhere, right? Anyways, please bear with me as I present – ahem, ahem –  my finished works. These are headers I used personally for my blogs:

Good Thrift-Hunting
I just love that the pictures that I sourced from the Internet embody thrifting and thrift-hunting as a whole.
Postcards Crossing
I love collecting stamps and postcards. I also like vintage stuff and grunge. And these are all incorporated in this header.
In the Company of Me
Very simple header. The picture of a PMSing woman says it all.

So what do you think? Do I have the potential? 🙂
The pictures used here are not mine but they’re available over the Internet. I do have a list of sites where I took all of these from, but, at the moment I could not locate it. I will have it posted here as a sign of gratitude, as well as, attribution to the sources as soon as I find it.

Better late than never!

I have always been a late bloomer. In my family, amongst my friends…  I was always behind.

But, as my title says, it is better late than never. Take for example digi-scrapbooking and graphics designing. This was the rage in early 2000s – digi-scrapping particularly – but I joined the bandwagon only recently.  I love being creative and expressing myself artistically, if only my eyes and other body parts don’t complain too much (pains here and there, a sign of getting old, sigh). I may not be a great artist or something but at least I strive to do something worthwhile. I really enjoyed digi-scrapping and I get tireless whenever I scour the internet for scrapbooking tutorials, ideas, and freebies, of course!

So enough of the drama, it took me several months before I could post here again.Better late than never! hahaha. I know a lot of my blog links here have already written me off but that’s okay. I hope they find me back here, if not, for sure I’ll find new ones.

I want to share you one of the digi-scraps I recently made for my nieces. When my friend Lui of My Crafting Den offered the Pink Blossoms Kit, her latest digi-scrap kit, for free, I knew I had to grab it right away! Here is the finished product:

B and C Pink Blossoms-8x6

I haven’t seen both of them for three years now and I so miss them much! Beebop was only two years old and Chappi about 6months the last time I was with them. How time flies. I hope they’ll like this scrappy that I made for them.

Please visit my friend’s My Crafting Den for scrapbooking kits and other fabulous freebies.

The PELUKA Sisters at Le Duo’s Christmas Village

Yes, if you want to see the PELUKA sisters in person, just visit us at Le Duo Restaurant! *lol*
Seriously, we joined the Christmas Bazaar at Le Duo. It’s one thing  in our wish list that we were able to do this year. The first time was at the Mith Samlanh’s fair, and now here. We are all into this for fun and experience, and of course, if we can sell our handmade items then GOOD for us!

Just look for this sign - which, by the way, was hand-drawn by one of Le Duo's owner's daughters. Neat, eh?
Just look for this sign – which, by the way, was hand-drawn by one of Le Duo’s owner’s daughters. Neat, eh?

Le Duo is one of the popular Italian restaurants in the city. A week ago, they held a very successful bazaar and due to public demand, they extended it to ten more days (started yesterday and will run through Dec 23). Anyone who is looking for great Christmas shopping ideas, including fabulous Christmas decors, should not miss the Christmas Village at Le Duo. The Christmas Village bazaar is not as big in terms of vendors and space compared to the one hosted by the Women’s International Group (WIG). However small the area may be there are rows of booths with lots of stuffs for the family and for that particular someone who is very hard to shop for on your list. There many new things and products (and food!) in the different booths there and you might just find what you’re looking for at the Christmas Village.  Our booth, right picture, is here. We have unique handmade jewelries and crocheted crafts.

This is a closer view of the products at the Peluka sisterhood stall. It was named after Josiet as she’s the main contact this time around.

All our items are lovingly handmade. From left, Josiet's accessories; top right, barefoot sandals and crocheted bracelets; above, crocheted flower doilies, scrunchies, etc. We will give you special discounts if you buy more than one item. Promise!
All our items are lovingly handmade. From left, Josiet’s accessories; top right, barefoot sandals and crocheted bracelets; above, crocheted flower doilies, scrunchies, etc. We will give you special discounts if you buy more than one item. Promise!

Please excuse the shameless plug. If you want to see more of  Josiet’s accessories and my and Lui’s needleworks (mostly crochets)  accessories, visit us at Josiet Accessory and Sreisaat Crafts, and My Crafting Den, respectively.

There is no admission fee at the Christmas Village Bazaar so, please, come and have a look. It is open at 4pm until 8pm. Remember, it will run until Dec 23. So what are you waiting for? Bring your family and friends and enjoy the fun, fab finds, and good buys!

More Christmas Village photos at Mumsified. Thanks to Mumsified and PinayMum for manning the booth last night.

Photo Hunt #50: Colourful crochets

Ladies and gents, I am pleased to share with you some some of my hand-made creations:

Colourful, aren't they?
Colourful, aren’t they?

At the foreground are glass coasters in multi-colours, to the left are flower doilies and some blue-yellow flowers, and the items that look like brain corals are scrunchies (hair-ties). Except for the glass coasters which were made by my PELUKA and yarn sister PinayWifeSpeaks, the rest are made by  me. We both are opening our Etsy shops sometime soon. We are still making more items and I am doing samples to be sent to a friend’s shop in Siem Reap — I’m so excited! Right now, I am waiting for the cotton yarns to arrive as the ones available in Phnom Penh are all acrylic wool only.

I’ve been trying to hook up (pardon the pun) with the young out-of-school girls in my neighbourhood to learn this particular needlecraft. There were a few interested who turned up but they didn’t have the patience. There was only one who stayed but the gravity of hanging out with friends at the mall is stronger so she, too, eventually didn’t come back. Oh well…

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Stuff I do when I’m bored (aside from blogging)…

I recently picked up crocheting again, thanks to the crochet hooks and a book that my mum-in-law sent me. Prior to my return, I have long been inspired by the many craft bloggers I met online. They are amazing bunch of creative and enthusiastic people creating things by hand, whether by knitting, sewing, quilting, embroidery, crocheting, baking, and scrap-booking, among others.

Feeling a bit jealous, I began crocheting and some of my finished, as well as on-going projects, are in my crafts blog, Sreisaat Crafts*. Yes, another blog! I may have joined the crafts bandwagon a little bit late now but I’ve been crocheting since my grade school days. Thanks to my mother who passed on to me and my sisters her love for yarns and needleworks. I think this is a great pastime for me who, for the past months, has been complaining of being unproductive and idle after I’d quit my full-time job. Anyways, so I started with the easy ones… the scrunchies. They are elastic hair ties and are not very difficult to make as the stitches are mainly single and double crochets. I would later on move to a more challenging project once I get used to the hooks and  I have achieved the right “tension”.

So my finished products will be sold next month, at the Mith Samlanh Fun Fair where me and my PELUKA sisters are joining again. We do not expect to sell much, really, but if we do, a percentage of the sales will be donated to the Mith Samlanh/Friends NGO to support their various projects for the streetchildren in Phnom Penh. Here are three samples:

Crafting with Sreisaat
Crochet scrunchie in chocolate brown and ecru.
Crafting with Sreisaat
Lovely pastel colours.
Crafting with Sreisaat
In golden yellow and brown.

If you like to purchase one of my scrunchies, please leave a comment or email me (see my Contact pate). An Etsy shop, perhaps, will be in the offing once I have gathered enough confidence. I just wish there are more yarn shops/craft shops here in Phnom Penh. The yarns available are very limited :C Anyway, please watch out for my Etsy shop in the coming days!

*NB: Sreisaat Crafts no longer exist. All the blog posts there have been incorporated in this blog in 2015.

New crochet project, so wish me luck!

I’m back again after a couple of loooong months. Well, I might have been gone but I wasn’t slacking at all. I’ve been making granny squares for my couch, for one. I don’t know long it will take me to finish a 1.5m x 2.5m cover but my game plan is to finish hundreds and hundreds of granny squares like these:

granny squares2-8x6 (1)

I believe I am doing well, but in order to finish a massive cover like I mentioned, I will have to crochet as fast as I can! I still haven’t found an online site that sells cheaper mercerised cotton threads. There is absolutely none here in Phnom Penh.

The idea of a couch cover came from Craft Passion after I saw this lovely halter-neck top she crocheted for her daughter — all made from colourful granny squares. I am so excited the wheels in my head started turning. The top would look good on my  nieces, too, so I might just make it another project for Christmas, you know, when I’m done with the cover.  Thanks, Craft Passion. I love your tutorials and the accompanying photos. They are so easy to follow!  There are also a lot of neat craft projects and tutorials — and not to mention cool giveaways — in her blog! I tell you, you should go check Craft Passion to see what I’m raving about.

Litratong Pinoy #39: Ginanchillong Bulaklak

Ako’y muling nagbabalik dito sa Litratong Pinoy. Nawala na naman ako ng matagal pero sa aking pagbabalik, kasama ko ang pagnanais na sana ay tuloy-tuloy na itong pagsali ko tuwing Linggo. Harinawa.

Heto naman ang aking entry: ginanchillong bulaklak, o crochet flowers. Pustahan tayo, ang lahok ko ang tanging bulaklak na nakabuka na kaagad. Di kasi totoong bulaklak, di katulad ng karamihan sa lahok ngayong linggo. Bakit kamo ako nagga-ganchillo? Dahil ako’y huminto na sa pagta-trabaho, marami na akong oras para sa sarili ko. Isa sa mga naisipan kong pampalipas oras ay ang pagga-ganchillo. Matagal na akong natutong mag-ganchillo kaya lang ay itinigil ko na ito mula nang nag-kolehiyo na ako hanggang sa nagkatrabaho. Mabuti na lang at marunong pa rin akong gumawa ng mga stitches hanggang ngayon kaya’t di ako nahirapan.

Unang-una kong ginawa ay ang mga rosas...
Unang-una kong ginawa ay ang mga rosas...
Gumawa na rin ako ng dahon at ikinabit ko na rin ito sa bulaklak at doily. Hindi ko pa ito nati-trim pero more or less ay ganito ang kinalabasan.
Hindi lang sa doily nagamit ang mga ginanchillo kong bulaklak. Ginamit din ito bilang accessory.

Marami din akong na-download na patterns sa Internet at nakisali na rin ako sa iba’t-ibang crocheting groups para makakita ng mga inspirasyon.  Hindi lang yan, namili na rin ako ng iba’t-ibang kulay ng sinulid para sa aking mga susunod na crochet projects. Dahil sa pagga-ganchillo, di na ako naiinip kapag mag-isa lang sa bahay.

If you’d like to know more about my crocheting adventures, kindly visit Sreisaat Crafts.

lp2

Certified hooker!

I have a confession to make.

I am addicted to crocheting. I am a hook-er!

This addiction though is husband-approved as it keeps me from driving him up the wall. Well, except, of course, if I spend too much time crocheting and forgetting about him. *lol*.  Crocheting is keeping me company when the husband is away at work, and most of all, it is keeping me away from moping on days when I feel down and blue. It’s an effective diversion when I’m feeling anxious; it relaxes me and the anxiety slowly goes away.

This kind of addiction is also low maintenance. I don’t need hundreds of dollars to get a kick. The yarns are cheap selling only less than a dollar a skein, although, it is not the kind of yarn that I would have used if there are other options. The hooks were given by my Mother and Mum-in-law and there are plenty. Recently, a new-found friend and certified hook-er like me mailed me two pieces of crochet hooks, 5mm and 5.5mm in size, which I don’t have.

Not many people could ever understand this addiction though. For some, they complain about eye-strain, backaches and wrist/hand pains, or even carpal tunnel syndrome. I certainly experience these too but fellow hook-ers would agree with me that it is somehow difficult to stop crocheting once you’ve already begun a project. I have done several items lately which we displayed at last Saturday’s Fun Fair. Here are some of them:

Certified hooker!

By the way, these items are also for sale. On the left are flower doilies in different colors, various scrunchies (background) and glass coasters (foreground). Let me know if any of these interest you. Friends suggest that I should open a store at Etsy.com but I don’t think I am ready for that one yet. I need more confidence votes, in other words!

Also, we have several pieces of really, really charming beaded jewelries that were unsold during the fair.

Certified hooker!

These items were all made by hand. If you see something in particular that you fancy, leave me a message so I can provide details about that item.