Friday, December 19, 2008

Making Christmas

So. As promised here is the instructions for making a Christmas tree from plastic bags:

You'll need:
Lots of bags. LOTS
Strong wire
Wire cutter and pliers

1.Bend the wire and shape in to the tree trunk with 4 legs. The legs help support the tree when you add the "pine needles" and it gets all heavy. This is illustrated in picture 1. This is how I did it but after I've finished I realize it may be easier if I made a spiral structure instead like in figure 2 or 3. This makes the tree stronger and less likely to sag. If you made it according to picture 1 you will have to add branches. I added 8 sets of branches with 4 branch in each set.

2. Now that you have your tree frame you will need to fluff up your tree. Grab as many plastic bags as you can and start making some plastic strings.

Press your plastic bag flat, and fold up like this:
Now, cut off the bottom and the handle.

You will be left with a wide plastic tube shape. cut down along one side so you have one flat plastic sheet. Roll this sheet up tight and cut up like you would a sushi roll.
You'll end up with lots of plastic strips.

3. Make lots and lots of pom poms from the plastic strips and tie them to your tree's branches. Make enough to cover all the wire.

4. Decorate and add lights!

Now you have a plastic tree that can be used again and again and way less plastic bags.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I think I need help.

My little sis sent me an invite to poupee girl and I am now addicted.
I spent almost all day today searching for cute little dresses for my poppet. I couldn't leave her nekkid, she looks just like me! It's like sweet cartoony wide eyed crack, I swear.

poupeegirl fashion brand community

Click that link at your own risk dude, if you find you can't leave don't say i didn't warn you. (and if you join, friend me!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I just wanna dance!!

Untitled from pinn on Vimeo.

Sunday drive

A day out driving with Mari and my two favorite odd fellows. We drove along the back roads of BKK, fed the fishes, and had afternoon tea by the river.

Thai Santa!!

The sun setting over the temple of dawn.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tis the Season

I made myself finish the Christmas tree today. So, some pics:

This is the result of lots of wire bending, plastic bag cutting and pom pom making and I absolutely love it. I decided to make this year's tree from recycled plastic bags and raided our stash. The super market we go to has white bags with red letters which resulted in a sweet candy cane effect for the entire tree.

This is a close up of the snow man garland me and the Mr. picked up in Shimo-kita zawa. We spent a perfect day there one christmas walking around and being absolutely in love, I was pregnant with Mari at the time, but didn't know it yet.

Rocker chic doll that I made for mari and a bunny I received from Minato-san of Tokyo's Rowan shop.

Some of my favorite earrings used as ornaments. The red monkey is from Naughty Secretary's club. I hearts it.

And happily Mari hearts her Christmas tree. Happy Holidays!
(We don't have any idea what to put at the top of the tree yet. Any suggestions?)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I'd been volunteering with TAT (tourism authority of Thailand) to help foreigners who are stuck here. We give out information and help them book in to the government acomondated hotels and stuff. It makes me so angry that some of these people are just stuck here and their airlines won't respond, no one picking up the phone. The confusion and frustration is just icing on this big mess of a cake :( Today I met someone who's here with his family and they had paid for 3 nights in the Novotel Suvanabhum and now they've run out of money. They can't even afford a cab to Pattaya to get on the military plane. I tried to find free ride for them but they can't confirm until the 2nd Dec. Meh. It makes me so fuckin mad and helpless. I hope everyone makes it home safely.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Mari has started sleeping (almost) through the night with out me having to go in to nurse her anymore. She used to go to sleep at 7-8 ish and wake again several times to nurse before I went to bed at 10-11 ish. But lately she's been sleeping all the way through until I join her in bed, when she'll feel me get in and scoot over to nurse. I have a feeling that if we didn't co-sleep she would probably sleep through to morning. Also, she likes to ride in her stroller now, she used to SCREAMMM when ever I try to put her in it. She's becoming much more confident and doesn't need her mommy to be with her so much anymore. It's happened so quickly, almost over night with no change of behavior on my part she just seemed to decide she's ok with stuff now. :S My baby's becoming a toddler. It is indeed bittersweet.

"I'm all grown now."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

mini craft

I made this little barrette today. I've been seeing a lot of fascinators on etsy recently and since I'm completely broke this month I decided to make my own. Plus, I wanted something a bit less flamboyant. So, I have this hat that was given to me by a very nice old dame. It was a pillbox style hat completely covered with feathers but it was badly smushed and had lost all it's shape. A few feathers from this old hat, a barrette, fabric, a vintage button and some glue= retro cuteness.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What's your dessert island top 5 knitting pattern?

Anyone who has ever watched or read Nick Hornby's High Fidelity will remember the main character Rob and his store with the musical moron twins, Dick and Barry. When a close friend tried to get me to translate High Fidelity in to Thai during my freshman year in college those two characters and that store somehow stuck with me long after I finished reading the book. At first I thought it was because they were amusing but nope, the reason for the connection has nothing to do with amusement at all. Quite the opposite.

Yesterday was my first time to a proper yarn store in a long loong time. Big Knit is a gorgeous, spacious shop full of lovely delicious yarn and cute stylish staff members who are happy to help you pick the out the right yarn and start you out on your knitting path. Most customers are new knitters and the staff were very patiently teaching them the ropes. The cakes are to die for. I went in and was lost in a haze of yarn induced ecstasy then my friend picked out some yarn and I started teaching her how to knit. That's when I realized that no matter how adorable this shop is I would never fit in here. I belong with Dick and Barry in Championship Vinyl.

That's the connection. Like those two dudes I am misfortunate enough to be obsessed with something that normal people see as a hobby. We know that for all the weird random knowledge we have accumulated, most of the time we just come off as a bit odd. See, when you become obsessive to the point of losing sleep about something that's supposed to be done for fun, there's a couple of words begining with the letter L that can be used to describe you. And that realization inspires some kind of strange and misguided elitist attitude. If I had opened a knitting shop it would have been a yarny version of that small record shop Camden. I could just imagine it.
A tiny cramped yarn shop manned by a couple of yarn snobs and stocked with discontinued yarn, hand dyed hand spun stuff, or weird fiber blends.

Customer: Do you have any Fun Fur?
Shop assistant A: Yes, of course.
C: Can I have it?
S.A.: No, I'm sorry but you can't.
C: Why not?
S.A.: Because it's acrylic crap that's why not. Do we look like the sort of shop that sells fucking fun fur, eh? Now be off with you and don't waste our time.
C: Fuck you!

Yep. Fun crowd.

So. If you are ever in town and like knitting, pretty yarn, nice people, and good food, by all means stop by Big Knit on Sukhumvit 49. It really is a great yarn store and knitting location. If you like obscure knitting information, knit bitching, and pattern dissection then maybe you can drop by and see me. Or maybe if you're lucky you may even catch me at Big Knit again, trying to act cool and relaxed, trying to blend in with normal folks and have a life.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Properly kicked.

Today our house keeper told me she thinks I do nothing all day. Shock. It was indeed a shaming moment. Yes, someone else besides myself noticed my lack of activity. Work has been kinda slow since the end of October. I export handicrafts and we aren't selling like we used to. The company is starting to feel the pinch and I'm worried about our financial security. I've been toying with ideas for other means of income, maybe some translation work, maybe start my own shop... but I've been putting it aside. By day I have to look after Mari and at night I really want to work on my knitting or a new book beckons. But yeah, turns out it was glaringly obvious that I am doing nothing in my free time except being free. Guess I needed that kick in the bum.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I think I may have found my potential LYS. Big Knit on Sukhumvit 49. Actually, I've known about Big Knit for awhile but I didn't have time to go with a baby on my hands. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it, but secretly I think it's because I know if I go I'm going to buy buy buy and won't be able to stop, hence setting myself and said baby up for a life of poverty.) But a dear friend recently asked me to teach her to knit and she needs yarn and so I looked up Big Knit on the net and My. God. What have I been missing! I want to be there yesterday. I'm heading there tomorrow and it seems like such a long time to wait. My first yarn store visit in over a year, it's been too long. I will report back.

creeping back.

Ok. So, I've been avoiding this blog. I sorta fell out of the wagon at the beginning of October when work became busy and now I've come crawling back. Yep. Let's see what's been up.

-The Mr. had been here for a month. He's gone back now and we miss him muchly. The month was over so fast. But we got in some nice restful stay at home days.

-Mari is running around and becoming quite a bright albeit willful little thing. She's started throwing tantrums already and seriously, any slight little thing sets her off. Even worse than the tantrum is my mom will give me with "that look" and if I fail to assert my authority (read: spanking Mari or at least verbally admonishing her.) She will laugh rather derisively and remark about how Mari has won. And she laughs when Mari hurts herself too. This is really heartbreaking for me. I can't understand how someone's pain can amuse you, especially if that someone is a one year old who has just caught her finger in a drawer. She will literally stand over her and laugh while Mari sits on the floor wailing and bewildered. I had to scoop my crying baby up and tell my mom to stop laughing and never laugh in her face again when she is in pain. Good god, woman.

-I've started on my Christmas crafting. This year I'm making a tree from scratch. We have our little yarn tree that I made years ago in Tokyo but with little Mari running around I wanted something that wouldn't topple so easily or have so many pointy wire. Also, I wanted something that we would be able to hang lights and ornaments on. So I'm making a new one using wire and re-cycled plastic bags. I took a pic of the bare wire tree and it looked pretty good. I've got a good feeling about this one. Unfortunately we've been very good about bringing our own cloth bags to the supermarket that we don't have enough bags for me to finish the project, so it's on hold until we collect more bags.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rain's end.

That's what this season is called in Thai. The rains are beginning to let up and we are entering for what passes for winter in these here parts. I miss the pumpkins, goblins, and ghosts of my childhood Autumns in NY, and I miss the hot baked potatoes, chestnuts, and fall fashion of my Autumns in Tokyo, but I decided this year I'm going to go out and look for what Autumn means in Bangkok. We live so disconnected from the seasons in this city and it's a shame. What's in season? What are the plants doing? what's the earth doing? I have no idea. But I'm going to go find out.

Other things I'm doing:
-Learning to drive. Which is nerve wracking, bizarre, and so so Thai. It deserves it's own entire entry.
-Counting down the days till the Mr. arrives for a month long visit. Only 19 more days!
-Psst! I'm also on twitter now. I'm dumplingrrl there.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We're all in this together.

Save Lori's House

Please take a bit of time to visit this site and donate if you can.

Lori is a single mom battling ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and chronic Lyme disease. She faces the loss of her home to foreclosure within days because she's too sick to work.

In September 2007 Lori mysteriously lost the ability to move her feet. The paralysis later spread to her legs and arms. Lori is now confined to a hospital bed and is dependent upon a Bi-Pap breathing machine. Lori is only 44, and she is determined to fight this disease and we're determined to help her do it in any way possible.

Help Lori keep her promise to her son. Help Lori keep her home and ensure that Jack has the security of a roof over his head, even when his mother is too sick to sleep there with him.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


When I was very small I used to love flipping through my aunt's dress pattern books. This is one of my favorites.

It's called "Stitch House: Infant wear by direct cutting" was printed in 1984, was translated from Japanese and is most likely out of print. The back cover reads:

"This simplicity is unrivaled, Mom's sort of excited. You just leave markings directly on the fabric, cut parts apart with scissors and machine them together, that's all. Whether you intend to or not, any of these can be finished in a day. That's direct cutting."

Yes, mom's sort of excited alright. Why I heart this book:
-Cute retro Japanese drawings
-Japlish scattered through out the book. One page reads 'It's all right that you're naughty, but give some thoughts to clothes I made myself. Mom.'
-The clothes are really easy to make and you don't even have to make a pattern.

I used to love this book so much that the first page bears my squiggly childish hand writing stating ownership. Now the book has been passed on to me and I make things for Mari from it.

Soo.. I thought I'd share some of the designs with you all. It's really good for beginners or people who don't have much time. Perfect for mommy crafting. And I needed some motivation to keep updating my blog. So from now on every week I'll try to post a project I made from this book ok?

This week:

I was inspired by a picture of the darling snack smocks on moving hands blog and decided I must make a smock for Mari. I remembered the little smock pattern in the Stitch house book and dug it up. I then simplified it a bit so I could use some of my old t-shirts. Here's the finished product:

This is the original pattern:

Here's my modifications:
-I used old t-shirts, so I just cut straight from armpit to arm pit and discarded the top bit resulting in a tube of fabric with a raw edge on top and a hemmed bottom. I cut the back opening straight up the back of the tube, turning the tube in to one long rectangle. I then turned the top edge down and stitched it in place to create a long tunnel along the top edge, cut out the sleeves according to the pattern and threaded a ribbon though the tunnel running along the top edge.
-Using an old t-shirt means no hemming involved.
-T-shirts don't unravel so I didn't hem the sleeves either.
-No pockets because Mari doesn't use them yet, but they could easily be made using the left over sleeve bits.

So yeah, very very simple. I managed to make one in about ten minutes while Mari was busy pulling books off the shelves!

(*disclaimer bit: I'm posting stuff from the Stitch House book because I assume that this book is out of print and I think the patterns are too good to keep to myself. An internet search for this book turned up nothing, but if you are the author/publisher / or anyone else who owns or worked on this publication and you want me to pull this down or anything mail me and I will do so immediately.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

mommy crafts

Psst!! I've joined a web board that my friend Kat from created. It's called Mama crafty and if you have a little one or are planning to, or just want to join in on the conversation please sign up!

As for me, I have been quite the busy crafter for the last week. I made some dolls for Mari's B-day using the ruby doll pattern from one red robin.

I used odds and ends from my kimono scrap bag and such. I really love how much I have hoarded up. The Mr. says I am a pack rat and I guess I am. A very happy one too.

It's the first time Mari has appreciated anything I made her (she was too youg before). She was asleep when I finished the dolls, when she woke up to nurse I brought them in to the bed thinking I'll surprise her the next morning when she wakes up. As she nursed I made a doll 'kiss' the back of her head good night and she immediately stopped nursing, pulled off and looked at the doll. She then gave me the widest smile and sat up and pulled each doll up for closer inspection.

Have you ever seen such a happy little face?

I don't think I can ever stop making her stuff now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

This time last year.

You were only a few hours old. Learning to breathe, learning to see. I was recovering from a major operation, learning to turn over, to sit up again in spite of the pain. We've come a long way. Amazing that in just a year so much can happen. I would love to write something eloquent that'll express all I feel for you, but as you know I'm very poor with words. Will it do to say that my heart nearly explodes every time I see your face light up? I'm the luckiest mama on earth to have your head to smell as I drift off to sleep. (Seriously, is there some sort of drug in baby hair? Cause I think I'm addicted to sniffing you.) I love to put my nose right near your mouth when you cry so I can catch those baby scented puffs of air.

You're getting so independent now. You've become quite a brave little girl, not afraid to take the next leap. You always knew exactly what you wanted and how it should be done, even when you were wee. At about 4 months you wanted to sit up from lying on your back like us adults, no turning on to tummy and pushing up for you! And you did it too. My little girl never settled. Now you're walking (stiffly) and climbing like a monkey! It's crazy fast. I look forward to (and at the same time dread )your approaching toddler years.

It's been quite a year hasn't it? Thank you for every step you've taken on this road with me. Thank you for letting me carry you next to my heart for so long.

And although you are a big one year old girl who doesn't have to count her age in months anymore, although you will be off riding with the fast crowd on your tricycle
real soon, know that when you're tired and when you need a hand to stroke your back while you sleep, you will still be my sweet little babe.

Goodnight honey.

Happy birthday.

I love you.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bragging rights.

I know some people claim their child started preparing for college since like kindergarten? Well I have here a picture that proves Mari has started preparing for her college days at the tender age of 10 months.

"Keg party at the moontower tonight, be there."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Greetings from the land of counterpane.

Mari has been sick on and off for a month now. First it was fever during a trip up north, then diarrhea from the antibiotics, then a runny nose, then a mysterious rash, now last night she spiked a fever of 104! A trip to the hospital and a blood test later it turns out to be a common cold. Some baby tylenol, antibiotics, and lots of rest and her fever's almost gone.

I'm absolutely exhausted. Lots of doubts about your abilities and judgements as a parent surface during those long sleepless nights with a feverish baby. I've had the advantage of being able to raise her exactly the way I want (Stay at home, Exclusively breastfeed until 6 months, Co-sleeping, Child wearing, Cloth diapering, the list goes on and on.) But along with that privilege comes the responsibility of knowing that I'm also solely responsible when things go wrong. Every step taken off the well trodden path of common child care practices come up to light. Ah well, it's smallish price to pay I guess.

Watching your child with an illness is sort of like washing the dishes with gloves on. You see the water you can almost feel your hands get wet and yet, you still have dry hands. Watching Mari scratch a rash on her leg or toss and turn during a fever, I get this feeling that somehow I should be feeling the itch or the fever too. It's almost unnatural that I can't feel her pain physically, just a bare ghost of it in my mind.

We've been spending most days in warm, snuggly, nursing type activities. Lots of cuddles and carrying. She's sleeping peacefully now. Knock on wood that this is it for now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Standing tall

standing from pinn on Vimeo.

Or at least, pulling to standing!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Some pics of my first cotton yarn.

On the spindle.

The charkha, disassembled so I don't injure myself walking in to it.