Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Multipurpose anyone??

I am always drawn to 2-in-1 (or more) type of things. It feels like a bargain to buy one thing and end up with an extra or two *grin*. I am certain many of you out there feel the same. 

Well, recently I've discovered a 2-way function to my old multipurpose bag design. 
By adding prong snap buttons on the sides (as pictured above), the bag shape changes from 
this to this 

I am pretty sure I'm the only one getting so hyped up over something so simple, but it is fun and very simple to make that next I tried with a quilted version. 

The outcome was even better, that I decided to make four more *grin*
Here's the size and features of the bags: 

Quilted - sturdier shape
1 pocket inside
magnetic snap button closure
2 prong snap buttons on the sides

bag size: 47cm x 33cm
handles length: 54cm
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year a.k.a Oshogatsu

For the Japanese, New Year a.k.a Oshogatsu is the most important holiday. Schools are closed for about 2 weeks, while businesses close down for usually about a week.

The Japanese has many traditions that they observe during oshogatsu. From the type of food, games, decorations and various symbolisms - for more info about oshogatsu read this.

A couple of activities or customs that we have adopted ourselves since coming to Japan is osoji a.k.a extensive cleaning. Though I would not call my cleaning method extensive, still I enjoy this culture of welcoming the new year with a clean state.

The second custom that we have adopted is sending out new year cards, which are postcards specially marked to be delivered on 1st January. The cards can be store bought on handmade and usually depict the zodiacal animal for the new year. I've been the unofficial card creator for our family. Here are our cards for 2009, 2010 and 2011..

Since it is school holiday now, Sofea and I spend our time doing some activities together. Today she helped me peel the carrots and potatoes while I prepared other ingredients for lunch. She also helped me to bake a cake. I also put together some activity sheets for her to do in between working on her holiday schoolwork and kumon. 

What activities do you do with your little ones at home..?? 
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eat your GREENS

Do you like eating vegetables? What's your favourite?  I LOVE veges, but I cannot for the life of me eat brussel sprout (very bad memories of being served blanched brussel sprouts as a student in the UK in my early twenties..yucks!!)  

As consuming vegetables might be daunting for some, making it yummy and irresistible is the key *grin* 

Here's a very simple how to..
1. Boil potatoes (with skin) until a fork can go through when you prick into it. Peel the skin and dice.
2. Cut some carrots and broccoli (you can use other vegetables as well like capsicum, radish, baby corn). Put in bowl with a bit of water, cover with sling film and microwave for a couple of minutes. You can blanch the vegetables if you prefer not to microwave. 
Mix 1 and 2 and add some ground pepper if you want.    
Here's the best part...
3. Add hot water to 3 spoonfuls of Knorr instant chicken gravy mix (I got my 1kg pack from Tesco, you can even get the meat gravy mix). Stir and it's ready.. *wide grin* or.... you can make your own gravy sauce. If I spend that much time in the kitchen, I'm sure you'll be reading MyBotanG cooking blog instead.. hehehehe  
As easy as 1,2,3... Just pour over your potato vege salad before eating. It is totally tasty. My 8 year old prefers the salad to the pizza.. honestly!!
Give it a try!! 
Do you have any other simple and easy vege recipe? Do share.. 
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bitten by the crocheting bug

I started crocheting again (not that I'm good at it or anything) but it seems like the logical thing to do on cold and chilly days in December. It keeps your mind active in a stationary position.

I picked up crocheting using the books you see in the picture.
I wrote a review on one of the books here.   

I attempted something bigger than my usual mini flower motif this time (as in the picture above). It turned out quite all right for a beginner like me (I think) but I still can't seem to get the tension right *sigh* 

I use my completed projects (the better ones) to embellish bags and pouches

For better crocheting experience visit MisFydKrafts
Read more about crochet here

On a totally different note, here are a couple of pictures of us here in Kyoto.
 Us amongst the bamboo forest
Sofea and I

December will soon end, have you started reevaluating your year and making plans for the year to come..?? Pin It


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