Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Vodka and dolls

My recent handiwork, inspired by blogs on dolls, many are in Russian.

Vodka is an alcohol which I have not tried neat, which I understand is how it is normally drunk. I have probably tried it in some cocktails. Anyway, this drink came to mind when I looked at my audience stats just the other day. Voila, Russia topped the list again (besides Singapore which is expected, since I am a Singapore blogger).

Russia nearly always popped up in my blog stats. So I hope they read this post as I want to thank them for visiting. Of course, there was also one from the most exotic of places (to me) -- like Morocco.

I would really like to hear from them though, on their own memories of their childhood. And I hope they read some of those that I have been sharing, and wonder about them. How different or similar?

Of late, I have been very intrigued by the art of making dolls, especially those of the Waldorf reputation. And I found so many blogs by Russian authors on these lovable dolls. They make the most whimsical looking ones too! Their workmanship is meticulous and their doll clothes are gorgeous! Their tutorials are also thorough and yet, full of warmth -- as much as I could detect from the Google translation.

By the way, I have been trying to make dolls since I was a child -- but never with success till now.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

An old fashioned spiral

Pic taken on 1 Jan 2017.  
GUESS this spiral staircase belongs to which building? But the colour may be a giveaway. This is the first time I see a spiral staircase with such long connections to each floor. Usually, the door of each unit opens immediately to the spiral staircase without such a longish extension.

The topmost one linking the rooftop to the staircase is the most exciting, I think. It is like a bridge! Imagine standing there on a breezy day and taking in the view of the surrounding area which incidentally, is changing rather rapidly.

Fellow blogger once told me that this may be the area where my "bird street" was -- where bird shops lined the canal and one could smell the bird food -- those little cakes which you stick between the bird cage railings, using toothpicks or broken bits of satay sticks.

Those were days in the 60s, when my dad would take me for a walk down this bird street. I can't really recall where, except that there was a canal running along the length of this street.

Hotel 81 Rochor. Picture taken at the junction of Rochor Road and Rochor Canal Road

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

How to polish a rusty cross stitch needle

Polishing a fat rusty cross stitch needle is as simple as ABC
VERY simple. You just put the rusty needle on the rough cement floor and use your shoe to roll it back and forth a few times. And there, your needle is, not bright as a new pin, but almost there.

There used to be needlework classes way back during my primary school days. (Not sure whether they still have them? Guess not.)

My first cross stitch lesson was an awful mess and my crosses ended up getting a BIG cross from the teacher.

I just couldn't grasp how to stitch that cross -- even after the teacher had demonstrated several times. We were each given thick threads and fat needles, and a small piece of cross stitch cloth. The teacher was exasperated and sort of slam the cloth over my head (not very hard) and said "Why are you so stupid?" (That teacher had a good reputation for being stern, strict but good.)

Back home, Mum showed me how to do those stitches. And soon, I became a whiz kid at it. Taking patterns from a table cloth at home, Mum and I worked out a splendid design that no one had in class. It was selected, among other good pieces, to grace the seats of tiny wooden stools (done by the boys) -- and exhibited at the end of term!

But the polishing of the needle back to its original health, was something my good old classmate taught me. What a great trick!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Ringing in the cash

THE owner of this provision shop is very proud of this shiny tin. While many shopkeepers have swapped their rusty Milo or Ovaltine cans for the cash register, this shiny tin has remained, very much treasured, more or less the family heirloom.

It keeps its shine through two generations of handling -- the bell making a nice tinkling sound when being pulled down from the ceiling, whenever change is needed. Then, it slides smoothly up again to a safer height. Works faster than the cash register, says the daughter of the owner.

This tin was customised for him by a skilled crafstman.  It took some time to make, as it had to be hammered into a smooth, round shape. You probably won't find such crafstmen today in Singapore.

Yes, the tinkling of the bell sounds better than the kerching of the cash register -- anytime.